South Korea, PH to resume talks on tourism cooperation

South Korea and the Philippines plan to resume and continue talks on the implementation of their 2019 agreement on tourism cooperation.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco and her Korean counterpart Second Vice-Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Cho Yongman acknowledged the need to resume discussions during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 11th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Tourism Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok on August 19.

“The pandemic has derailed many plans. We will our plans for cooperation are translated into successful programs to benefit both our countries, and we hereby express our willingness to host the joint working group meeting for the implementation of the program in the Philippines,” Frasco said.

The MOU Implementation Program on Tourism Cooperation, derailed by the ongoing pandemic, was inked in November 2019 and is valid until 2024. It aims to bolster two-way tourism promotion, align tourism efforts, and increase engagement on tourism safety, security, and quality assurance between the two countries.

Frasco said both Manila and Seoul are eager to continue their partnership and sharing of best practices in the English as Second Language (ESL) program, film tourism, and dive tourism, among others.

Yongman, for his part, said Korea recognizes the Philippines as an “important partner” and cited the two nations’ decades-old ties. Expecting more Koreans visiting the Philippines, particularly Frasco’s hometown Cebu, the Korean official said he hopes the Philippines will ensure the safety and convenience of tourists.

Korean tourists registered some 1.98 million arrivals in 2019, the highest arrival figure among all the country’s foreign tourist markets.

Since borders reopened in February 2022, a total of 112,603 South Koreans have so far visited the Philippines.