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Hotel federation bucks ‘most dangerous’ tag of Phl

(The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Hotel Federation (PHF) yesterday expressed concern over recent reports of travel advisories tagging the Philippines as “most dangerous” for Koreans and Chinese nationals.

A report from The Korea Times identified the Philippines as “the most dangerous” country for South Korean tourists and expatriates in 2013. This is a significant announcement, the PHF said, as Korean nationals are the current top tourist market in the country.

China also warned its citizens not to travel to the Philippines after the recent kidnapping of a Chinese teenager from a family-run store in Mindanao.

“This is alarming for the tourist industry of the country. We are killing the goose that lays the golden egg,” the PHF said in a statement.

PHF president Arthur Lopez said the negative travel advisories from Korea and China do not augur well for the country’s tourism industry.

“The Department of Tourism is creating demand for our destination as shown in the increase in tourist arrivals. As the DOT has recently launched Visit Philippines Year 2015, we have more reason to ensure that authorities are prepared to handle the security requirements for all the major events slated in 2015, such as the visit of Pope Francis, the APEC meetings, and many others,” Lopez said.

Lopez also issued an appeal to the government, particularly to law enforcement agencies, to act swiftly to erase the image of lawlessness and criminal resurgence being conveyed to potential visitors to the Philippines.

“Tourism is now in full upswing mode and any deterrent to this trend should be clipped immediately,” he said.

Lopez also pointed to the surge in hotel investments and increasing demand for skilled and non-skilled workers.

“The accommodation sector is the major stakeholder, employer and contributor to the increase in tourism revenues that are much needed by the country’s economy, and the negative publicity that has been coming out should be disproved. This can only be done through concrete, definitive actions from government that would dispel the fears of potential visitors because of reports that paint the Philippines as an unsafe, dangerous country,” Lopez said.

ARTHUR LOPEZ DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM KOREA AND CHINA KOREA TIMES KOREANS AND CHINESE LOPEZ PHILIPPINE HOTEL FEDERATION POPE FRANCIS SOUTH KOREAN VISIT PHILIPPINES YEAR
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