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Aquino confident the PHL will regain reputation as top tourist destination PDF Print E-mail

MANILA, July 19 (PNA) -- President Aquino expressed confidence that the Philippines will regain its reputation as a top tourist destination living up to its name as the Pearl of the Orient.

In his speech during the courtesy call of the participants in the 6th Ambassadors and Consuls General and Tourism Directors’ Tour at the Rizal Hall of the Malacanang Palace on Tuesday, President Aquino said that the government is focused on tourism promotion and development that will eventually create more jobs and better opportunities for the Filipinos.

“Under our administration the tourism sector is finally getting the attention it rightfully deserves… at the bottom line is a better life for the Filipino people. Tourism means jobs… as every person visiting this country means more opportunities,” the President stressed.

The Chief Executive cited the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan as one of the must-see tourist spots in the country considering not only its natural beauty and serenity but also its being one of the major contenders in the search for the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

“We have focused in promoting tourism hubs around the archipelago, most prominently the Puerto Princesa Underground River which by the way reached the final round in the search for the New Seven Wonders of Nature,” the President said.

The government has launched a nationwide campaign encouraging the Filipinos in the country and around the world to vote for it.

The President said that the distinction will improve tourism not only in Puerto Princesa but also in other areas of the country.

Apart from these efforts, infrastructure projects are also underway to enhance the capabilities of the country’s aviation facilities that will make traveling easier for the visitors.

“We have also been expanding infrastructure which will lead to an increase in the number of visitors. Just last month, I was in Boracay to inaugurate the new Caticlan Airport which aims to have an increase in the island’s visitors that may reach three million a year once the airport and the runways are extended,” the President said.

He said that the tourism department has targeted 77 tourism development areas across the country, adding that the success of such efforts depends on infrastructure developments that will serve as the foundations of progress.

“We have taken steps to liberalize aviation as well, which will effectively allow our tourists’ access to friendlier airfares and to more plane rides to our tourist destinations. We are making it easier and less tiring for them to reach their destinations,” the President said.

The President also noted the increase of tourists in the country, saying that the numbers will continue to rise with the continuing efforts being exerted by the administration.

“We have 3.2 million visitors in the period of July 2009 to June 2010, and the most recent reports bare that the visitors count within the same period during this administration has risen to more than 3.7 million…,” the President said.

He urged the Filipino balikbayans to invite their friends from various parts of the world to visit the country for a relaxing vacation.

The Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) welcomed a delegation of around 500 tourists courtesy of the Philippines’ Foreign Service Posts in North America for the tour.

The publicity and goodwill generated by the tour provide a tremendous boost for the DOT’s efforts to invite overseas Filipinos to come home in the next five years.

Recently, the President signed Proclamation No. 181 declaring 2011-2016 as Pinoy Homecoming Years, aimed at tapping the huge potential of the balikbayan market as a source of tourism arrivals, especially the second- and third-generation Filipinos abroad.

Joining the Tour this year are Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. and Philippine Charge d’Affaires to Canada Minerva Jean Falcon, as well as six consuls general and four tourism attachés stationed in both countries.

The DOT estimated P29 million in foreign exchange generated from the participant turnout. (PNA)







































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