Tourists who stay in PH on rise—BI

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12:45 AM January 7th, 2013

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January 7th, 2013 12:45 AM

A group of Polish backpackers dine at a local café in Camiguin Island in southern Philippines. The Philippine government is aiming to boost its foreign tourist arrivals by launching the “It’s More Fun In The Philippines” campaign. Photo by Don Lejano/INQUIRER.net

More and more foreign visitors are extending their stay in the Philippines, indicating that the country remained a favorite tourist destination, according to the Bureau of Immigration.

Records showed that in 2012, the bureau’s visa extension office was swamped with 172,055 applications for extension of stay by foreign tourists, which it approved. The figure was 13-percent higher the previous year’s 151,913 applications.

“Our country remains a favorite tourist destination that many foreign visitors are opting to stay here longer not only for vacation or to visit our tourist attractions but also to explore business and investment opportunities,” said Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. Sunday.

David noted that many foreign visitors opted to extend their stay in the country despite the negative travel advisories issued against it by the United States, United Kingdom, China and other nations over security concerns.

Currently, no visa-required foreign tourists are allowed into the country for 21 days, while visa-required visitors are granted an initial stay of 59 days or almost two months. Jocelyn R. Uy

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