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DoT Remains Upbeat on Hitting 2010 Target of 3.3M Visitors

The Department of Tourism (DoT) remains confident of hitting the government’s target of 3.3-million foreign visitor arrivals this year despite certain challenges.

Declaring the 10th Philippine Travel Exchange (Phitex 2010) open on Thursday at the historic landmark Manila Hotel, Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim said:

I am truly grateful that, despite the challenges we faced the past week and a half, we were still able to attract 96 foreign delegates from around the world and 191 Filipino sellers representing 112 companies. I believe this is a clear testament of your confidence in Philippine tourism.

Lim also told the participants on Thursday that for the first five months of the year, foreign visitor arrivals had already reached almost 1.5 million or an 11.2 percent increase over the same period last year.

If we are able to sustain this growth rate through your unwavering commitment to support our promotions efforts, we have no doubt we will hit our target of 3.3 million arrivals by year-end,
Lim stressed to the foreign delegates from huge travel agencies around the world, including nine from China, three from Taiwan, two from Hong Kong and two from Singapore.

Lim’s appeal immediately drew a positive response from Shanghai Synwalk International Travel Service general manager Bob Jia, who told a subsequent interview that his company would continue selling the Philippine tourism products and destinations to China.

Jia described the Philippines as a country of beautiful scenery and wonderful people that the world should see and appreciate.

Jia was among the travel wholesale buyers who met with local sellers of tour packages during pre-scheduled one-on-one business meetings at the Manila Hotel.

These business transactions are expected to generate inflows of large volumes of tourists from all over the world.

Earlier, Lim cited the $9.72-billion or six-percent contribution of tourism to the gross domestic product (GDP) and 10 percent to the entire workforce.
We fully intend to exceed these numbers over the next six years. We seek to double visitor arrivals to six million by 2016, and tourism earnings to $18.7 billion or 6.35 percent of the GDP,
Lim said.

Saturday up to Tuesday next week, the foreign buyers will visit Cebu, Bohol, Boracay, Bicol, Palawan, Clark, Subic and the Ilocos Region to see for themselves this year’s Phitex theme of “Awesome Philippines, Awesome Sceneries, Awesome Activities, Awesome Experiences.”

Supported by the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Tourism Promotions Board (PTPB), these Awesome Experiences are made possible by the Philippine Tour Operators Association, Philippine Airlines, Manila Hotel, Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, and the participating hotels and resorts.

Source: Manila Bulletin, 03 September 2010

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