Australia and the UK recently issued travel advisories, warning their citizens to be cautious when traveling to Mindanao a few days after two persons were killed and 34 others were injured in a New Year’s Eve bombing in Cotabato City.
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‘Travel advisories will not hurt tourism’
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - January 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Despite travel advisories issued by Australia and the UK against traveling to Mindanao, the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) remains optimistic that these will not hurt the tourism industry in the Philippines.

TCP president Jojo Clemente claimed that they were not surprised by the travel advisories but added that they are implementing strategies to address the issue.

“I don’t think it will affect the tourism industry. We haven’t received cancellations from the areas of the travel advisory. We received calls for clarifications, but we are here to explain the whole situation,” Clemente said.

Australia and the UK recently issued travel advisories, warning their citizens to be cautious when traveling to Mindanao a few days after two persons were killed and 34 others were injured in a New Year’s Eve bombing in Cotabato City.

Clemente said the private sector has urged the Department of Tourism (DOT) to issue a statement assuring tourists’ safety in the Philippines.

Clemente added that the DOT should also work with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Philippine National Police to assure tourists of the government’s security measures.

“The government is already addressing the issue – double efforts in marketing other places far from the situation. We’re not panicking about it; it’s nothing catastrophic,” he said.

But Clemente admitted that “it is incumbent” for them to explain the whole situation to both domestic and foreign travelers.

Aside from Australia and the UK, the US Department of Homeland Security recently issued a travel advisory on the alleged deficiency of security measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“We are a bit more worried about the US travel advisory even if there seems to be no effect on us a few days after. As usual, many are making inquiries,” Clemente said.

Clemente said the TCP is challenged to sell Mindanao because of the travel advisories.

JOJO CLEMENTE TOURISM CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES
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