The boss for Philippines casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corporation has reportedly suggested that his government should adopt a visa-on-arrival policy for visitors from mainland China instead of requiring such tourists to secure a permit in their place of origin.
According to a report from The Philippine Star newspaper, Enrique Razon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Manila-listed Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, stated that a visa-on-arrival policy would see the travel document with one official signature pasted into Chinese visitors’ passports before they clear immigration.
The newspaper reported that the policy proposition from the billionaire businessman was floated during a dinner he attended with Carlos Dominguez, Finance Secretary for the Philippines, and Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay. He explained that the suggestion, which comes amid a warming of relations between the two Asian countries, could see Chinese tourist numbers rise by up to a hundred-fold.
The Philippine Star reported that the recent arrests of over 1,300 illegal Chinese workers at an online gambling facility in Pampanga Province’s Clark Freeport Zone showed that large numbers of mainland workers using fictitious names and aliases are already in the Philippines illegally. It explained that a visa-on-arrival policy would allow the government to better monitor those who have arrived from abroad and benefit tourist destinations such as Manila’s Solaire Resort And Casino, which is operated by Bloomberry Resorts Corporation.
Razon recently told The Standard newspaper that November saw visitors to the Solaire Resort And Casino from mainland China swell by 130% year-on-year with a preceding 80% boost for October while official statistics show that the Philippines as a whole witnessed a 24% increase for 2015 to close to 500,000.
Meanwhile, The Philippine Star reported that the Philippines Tourism Department has explained that it is expecting a large increase in arrivals from mainland China in 2017, especially during the period around celebrations for the Chinese New Year. The government department allegedly proclaimed that up to one million Chinese tourists could make the five-hour flight to Manila next year as 2015 saw China post more than 120 million outbound trips to destinations around the globe spending an estimated $217 billion in the process.