Monday, 4 January 2010

3 million tourists visit RP in 2009

Three million tourists from abroad will have visited the country by the end of the year.

Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Payabyab said there could have been a lot more but for the global recession that is just beginning to wane.

According to Payabyab, the Department of Tourism (DOT) originally targeted five million foreign tourists. The lower projection, he explained, was due “to the contraction of outbound tourist traffic in our usual market, particularly Japan and Korea.

“The increased arrivals from China and Taiwan have enabled the country to make up for the loss,” he said.

He acknowledged that the severe typhoons had a negative effect, on the tourism industry.

“Baguio City, for instance, lost over 2,000 domestic tourists since it had to forego hosting the Advertising Congress because of the floodings and landslides,” he said.

He pointed out that most foreign tourists plan their visit months in advance. Thus, he added, the Maguindanao massacre in November could not have stopped those who had already booked their flights.

“But it may have discouraged those who were still planning their vacations,” he said.

He congratulated the media for the positive role they play in the tourism industry. From their reports, he said, foreign tourists learn where these violent incidents occur, and they are able to avoid these places.

He said that DoT keeps assuring visitors that the country’s popular destinations remain safe.

Also, Payabyab said, domestic tourism received a boost from the so-called holiday economics. He explained that the President always cluster holidays, and that enables workers to plan their vacations around the long weekends.

Among domestics tourists, Cebu City is the most visited destination, with Camarines Sur coming in second. In fact, the Bicol province was number one, with over one million local tourists recorded in the first nine months.

The third most favored destination is Baguio City and the rest of the Cordillera Autonomous Region.

Other favorites are Bohol and Palawan, which both achieved double digit growth in domestic tourism. (Story courtesy of PNA)

*Photo above is taken from Boracay, Philippines courtesy of:

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