Saturday, February 4, 2012
News Update 'It's still more fun in PH despite Tawi-tawi kidnap'
Despite the recent abductions of foreign tourists, the Department of Tourism (DoT) maintains: It’s still more fun in the Philippines. The DoT said in a statement Friday that PH can still attract more visitors this year, despite the United Kingdom travel advisory on some areas in Mindanao following the kidnapping of two Europeans in Tawi-Tawi earlier this week. “The Philippines remains as an ideal destination with foreign individuals and groups continuing to arrive,” the statement added, noting that there have been no cancellations of flights so far. For this year, DoT aims to draw 4.2 million visitors with a brand new campaign rolled out and full support extended by the government and private sector. DoT said that in 2011, there have been a series of travel advisories in isolated areas but it did not deter tourists from visiting the country. It added that issuance of travel advisories is but a part of regular functions of embassies to ensure their citizens' safety. In fact, the DoT said that advice against traveling to some parts of Mindanao has been constant and common even for locals. “The Tawi-Tawi incident is considered unfortunate and could have been avoided had the visitors taken necessary precautions many European tourists usually take in heed of these advisories,” the statement said. Meanwhile, DoT reported that visitor arrivals in 2011 reached a record high of 3.9 million or 11 percent more than the 3.5 million in 2010. “The government and the industry vow to strengthen their resolve to ensure the pleasant, safe, and secure stay of visitors,” the statement said.