The Philippines has a long way to go when it comes to competing with the rest of the Asian Pacific region for tourism dollars and the City of Dreams Manila casino’s Melco Crown Philippines says that attracting Chinese visitors is something the government should be putting more effort into, according to local media sources.

On Monday, Geoff Andres, the president of the City of Dreams Manila in Manila Bay, told local reporters that considering that the Chinese market remains for the most part untapped, one of the first steps that should be taken is to make it easier for Chinese tourists to access the region by modifying visa requirements.

Andres told reporters, “We’re just starting but I think there are a lot of opportunities for the mainland Chinese market,” and, “If we do that, I think that’s gonna raise all, not only for the gaming market but also for the tourism industry overall,” according to Asia Gaming Brief.

In the first quarter of 2016, casino revenues rose by 108 percent from P1.95 billion in 2015 to P4.05 billion, according to a filing earlier this year by Melco Crown Philippines. “The increase in total net operating revenues was primarily due to the ramp up of resort operations since the opening in December 2014.”

Meanwhile, Travellers International Hotel Group is spending big money in Manila to increase its footprint in the Entertainment City gaming zone as it works to complete its Resorts World Manila development.

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