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Tourism chief not happy with just 6.6-M tourist arrivals

/ 06:01 PM May 17, 2018

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Thursday said she will be discussing with her team at the Department of Tourism (DOT) on how to increase the country’s tourism arrival.

“Definitely, I’m not happy with the 6.6 million. If they say we’ll increase it by 10 percent per year, parang hindi siya tama,” Romulo-Puyat told reporters in a press briefing.

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She noted that the 6.6 million figure is “low compared to our Asian neighbors.”

The new tourism chief, who is only on her third day in office, added that the Philippines has “the best food, the best sights, the best destinations, and the best people.

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According to data from DOT, the country had 6,620,908 foreign tourist arrivals in 2017, representing an 11% growth from 5,967,005 arrivals recorded in 2016.

Under resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, DOT forecast the international tourist arrival for 2018 at 7.4 million.

Thailand has the highest international tourist arrival rate in Southeast Asia, followed by Malaysia, according to 2015 data from the Association of Southeast Asian Nation. /vvp

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