MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Tourism targets to increase the annual tourist arrivals in the country to 10 million by 2016, President Benigno Aquino III on Monday said in his third State of the Nation Address.
Aquino said that as of June 2012, at least 2.1 million tourists have arrived in the country, which he said bodes well for the local tourism industry’s target of 4.6 million tourists by the end of this year.
“Kung patuloy na magkakaisa ang sambayanang Pilipino, gaya ng ipinamalas natin nang hirangin ang Puerto Princesa Underground River bilang isa sa New Seven Wonders of Nature, walang dudang makakamtan natin ito,” Aquino said.
“Ang pahayag nga po natin sa daigdig: It’s more fun in the Philippines. Kahit wala pang isang taon sa puwesto si Secretary Mon Jimenez, nagagapas na natin ang positibong bunga ng ating mga naipunlang reporma. Masasabi nga po nating pagdating sa turismo, It’s really more fun—to have (Tourism) Secretary Mon Jimenez,'” Aquino added.
Aquino said that if the quota for 2012 is reached, this means they would have added 1.5 million tourists, which would be higher than the 1.3 million increase in tourist arrivals during the nine-year term of the previous administration.
Aquino said that in 2001, tourist arrivals were recorded at 1.8 million and in 2010, it increased to 3.1 million.
“Mantakin po ninyo: sa hinaba-haba ng kanilang administrasyon, ang naidagdag nilang tourist arrivals, 1.3 million lamang; may ambag pa kaming kalahating taon dyan,” Aquino quipped.