The Department of Tourism (DOT) is advocating for relaxed visa policies for cruise ship passengers to enhance the Philippines’ position as a top cruise destination in Asia.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco announced at the Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit on Friday, June 21, that the DOT is working with the Bureau of Immigration to simplify visa processes for cruise travelers.

An official announcement on the new visa measures is expected soon.

“This initiative assures stakeholders in the cruise tourism industry that the DOT is committed to expanding the number of cruise destinations in the Philippines,” Frasco said.

Concerns from cruise lines, particularly regarding same-day visas for passengers, specifically Chinese nationals, were highlighted by DOT Region 1 Director Jeff Ortega in a recent interview.

The relaxed visa policies aim to address these issues.

In addition to visa liberalization, the government is focusing on improving cruise tourism infrastructure nationwide.

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has announced plans for new cruise ship ports in popular destinations such as Coron, Siargao, Camiguin, Boracay, and Puerto Galera. These new ports will complement existing facilities managed by the PPA in Currimao, Salomague, Manila, Bohol, and El Nido.