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Business

DOT downplays impact of Samal incident

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines –  The Samal Island kidnapping case last month is unlikely to affect the local tourism sector, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

“We don’t foresee any changes or decline. Without attempting to downplay or dismiss it, such incident has not made significant or negative impact on the inflow of tourists in the Philippines,” DOT undersecretary Benito Bengzon said.

Furthermore, DOT assistant secretary Arturo Boncato Jr. said no major cancellations were recorded at the Holiday Oceanview Marina, where three foreigners and a Filipina were abducted last Sept. 21.

“The Marina is in full capacity. We’re not setting aside what happened. But, overall, I don’t think it’s going to make a major bend,” he added.

Bengzon noted it is important to look into the perspectives of the foreign tourists, saying there is only a minimal number of them who are aware of advisories coming from the embassies of different countries regarding the incident.

“Very few of them are aware that there are advisories coming out. The less we talk about it, the better for the industry and the country,” Bengzon said.

Approximately 3.6 million arrivals have been recorded for the first eight months of the year. The DOT is upbeat tourist arrivals will reach over five million by the end of 2015.

“We just have to keep pushing. The industry as a whole will lock arms and make sure we’re able to mitigate any negative impact that the incident will have,” he added.

 

ACIRC

ADDED

ARTURO BONCATO JR.

BENGZON

BENITO BENGZON

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM

DOT

FILIPINA

HOLIDAY OCEANVIEW MARINA

INCIDENT

SAMAL ISLAND

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