Duterte urges Filipinos to help boost local tourism amid nCoV scare
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte is urging Filipinos to visit the country’s tourist spots to boost domestic tourism and counter the threat of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Duterte issued the appeal on Monday during a meeting with tourism industry stakeholders.
In a press statement, Malacañang said “the Philippine tourism industry has a lot to offer” and stressed that the country has “good public health and law and order situation.”
Local tourist spots are also readily accessible, Duterte was quoted as saying.
The 2019 nCoV has already affected more than two dozen countries around the world.
The President added that some of the country’s major airlines and hotels have agreed to offer discounted rates to the public to create a viable market for tourists. At the same time, he expressed optimism that like other epidemics, the 2019 nCoV will eventually be contained.
Among those who attended the meeting at the SMX Convention Center at the MOA Complex in Pasay City were Philippine Hotel Owners Association President Arthur Lopez, AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricardo Isla, Philippine Airlines President Gilbert Santamaria, and Cebu Pacific Air President and CEO Lance Gokongwei.
The Department of Health has reported three confirmed cases of the new coronavirus strain in the country. The first two cases were of a Chinese couple who traveled to the country from Wuhan City in China, the epicenter of the outbreak. The man died on Feb. 1 and was the first nCoV death recorded outside China.
The third case, meanwhile, was of a 60-year-old Chinese woman who arrived in Cebu City from Wuhan via Hong Kong on Jan. 20.
Globally, the death toll from the new coronavirus strain has already breached the 1,000 mark.
Edited by MUF
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