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Palace downplays tourism report on PH as 11th most dangerous country

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 03:21 PM June 15, 2017

Passengers walk past a thermal scanner at the medical quarantine area at the arrival section of Manila’s International Airport in Paranaque, south of Manila, Philippines. AP FILE PHOTO

Malacañang downplayed on Thursday an international report where the Philippines ranked 11th as the most dangerous country for tourists.

The 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF) showed that the Philippines was in the 126th spot among 136 countries in ensuring the safety of tourists.

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“Well, you know, contrary to the WEF report, tourism businesses are exposed to security risks. In spite of that, foreign tourists continue to increase steadily,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a Palace briefing.

“There are just hiccups every once in a while. But they continue to increase,” Abella added.

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READ: PH falls in tourism competitiveness, security concerns cited

Citing the latest data from the Department of Tourism, close to 1.8 million foreign tourists arrived in the Philippines during the first quarter of 2017.

“Visitor arrivals from January to March 2017 are 1.78 million, okay, compared to 1.6 million for the same period last year. Therefore an increase of about roughly 11 percent,” he said.

The increase in tourists’ arrivals, he said, was due to the increase in direct flights going to the airports in the country’s top tourist destinations such as Cebu and Kalibo in Aklan.

“We should be looking up, you know. We don’t really focus on critics. We focus on actual work and processes. And there really is an increase, it’s quite positive,” he said.

The WEF report said the Philippines could still regain its competitiveness by improving visa policy, international openness and efficiency of ground transport. JE/rga

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TAGS: Abella, Malacañang, Security, Tourism, tourist, Travel, Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, WEF, World Economic Forum
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