DOT Philippines and Austria plan tourism MoU

MANILA, 14 March 2024: The Philippines intends to strengthen tourism ties with Austria through a bilateral M0U to capture more visitors from this emerging European source market.

Philippines Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco visited Vienna, Austria, last week to meet Austria’s state secretary Susanne Kraus-Winkler to discuss ways to promote tourism between the two nations through an MoU.

Photo credit: DOTP. Tourism secretary Frasco (left) and Austria’s state secretary Kraus-Winkler during their discussions in Vienna on 7 March.

Secretary Frasco noted the huge opportunity in the Austrian market, citing the impressive 89% recovery rate in visitor arrivals from Austria to the Philippines in 2023. 

During the meeting in Vienna, Secretary Frasco reiterated the Philippines’ intent to establish a Memorandum of Tourism Cooperation with Austria to mutually grow tourism between the two countries and exchange best practices in culture, heritage, and retirement schemes.

“Following our discussions in Manila last year, we wish to reiterate the Philippines’ interest in signing a Memorandum of Tourism Cooperation to formalise our efforts to benchmark best tourism practices on sustainable tourism, enhance people-to-people exchanges, and further enhance frameworks on human capital development, among other things,” said Secretary Frasco.

“We acknowledge the opportunity to strengthen the market; we also wish to maximise the opportunity to educate and inform Austrians about our tourism products in the Philippines, which are of great interest to Europeans, including our beaches, dive sites, adventure offerings, and experiential travel across our islands and among our diverse communities,” said Secretary Frasco.

According to Secretary Kraus-Winkler, the largest employment sectors for Filipinos in Austria “are in tourism and care,” with almost a quarter of the Filipino diaspora in Austria currently working in the tourism sector. It was suggested a “working holiday programme” should be included in the Memorandum of Understanding.

“Tourism generally benefits from working holiday programmes, as young people can gain experience in tourism worldwide. Experience has shown that young people often also want to explore the country where they are working and go on vacation during their stay of up to one year. We are looking forward to the talks on the rapid implementation of a working holiday program, as we were recently able to conclude with the US,” said Secretary Kraus-Winkler.

The ‘workation’ programme targets people aged 18 to 30 who want to broaden their understanding of other countries and cultures. Foreign language skills are an important aspect of a successful start to working life abroad.

The discussions between the two tourism leaders also tackled sustainability and the pivotal role of digitalisation in tourism.

(Source: DOT)


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