A Xiamen Airlines flight from China's eastern coastal city of Xiamen arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, the Philippines on Jan 24.
Passengers from China's eastern coastal city of Xiamen arrive in Pasay City, the Philippines on Jan 24 and receive warmly welcome. [Photo/Xiamen Daily]
Upon arrival, the 189 passengers aboard the flight were greeted by Philippine Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.
Frasco said the arrival of these tourists "signals a very auspicious start" to the Chinese New Year, adding her country is anticipating more tourists from China to "help the Philippines in its efforts to transform and recover the tourism industry."
As one of the most popular outbound travel destinations for Chinese tourists, the Southeast Asian country received a record 1.74 million Chinese tourists in 2019.
The Philippines is also included in a pilot program by China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism to allow travel agencies to open outbound group travel for Chinese citizens to 20 countries, which will take effect on Feb 6.
Starting Jan 17, Xiamen Airlines has resumed its daily flight from the Philippine capital Manila to Xiamen. The operator also plans to increase flights between the two cities and resume the air route between Quanzhou - a neighboring city of Xiamen - and Manila in mid or late February.
China will cut COVID-19 quarantine period for incoming travelers from 10 to 8 days, cancel the circuit breaker for inbound flights and no longer determine secondary close contacts of confirmed cases, health authorities said on Friday.