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ESL edge to help Philippines draw in more tourists

CEBU, Philippines — The Philippines is going to capitalize on its edge as a preferred destination for  ESL (English as Second Language) studies to attract long staying tourists to the country.

This after the Philippines has been regarded as having one of the highly-recommended ESL programs based on the reviews by major markets like Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese.

DOT secretary Wanda Teo said that the Philippines will specifically boost its ESL marketing campaign to Korean nationals as this particular market shows consistent strong interest in studying English language outside of their country.

The Philippines, being the third largest English speaking nation is yet to maximize its potential as the premier ESL hub in the world, after US and UK, Teo said.

"It is very encouraging to see that more and more Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese, among other foreign students are considering the Philippines over other English-speaking nations for their studies," said Teo.

The tourism chief added that with the booming tourism and improving economy, it is no surprise that the Philippines has become one of the destinations of choice among foreigners for high quality and affordable education.

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Recently, assistant secretary Benito Bengzon urged Cebuanos to take active stance in the ESL positioning as its location, with its relaxed-urban vibe, is very attractive to this particular market.

As Cebu has been in the forefront of this tourism related service, Bengzon hinted that the province can capitalize on this more strongly thereby gaining more long staying tourists to boost the economy all the more.

Per student who enrolls for offshore ESL program, usually stays in a destination for at least 10 days. This already includes two to three days rest and re-creation. Some even extend for days more, Joseph said.

Singapore is the Philippines' closest competitor as an ESL destination in Asia. New Zealand and Australia on the other hand, are the popular countries most Japanese students and professionals go to, to learn English. (FREEMAN)

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