Philippines tourism surges by 14 percent

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Ramon Jimenez Jr

TRAVEL GAZETTE – Foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines surged by 14 percent year-on-year to 1.6 million in the first quarter of this year, a senior government official confirmed.

Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said the government is well on its way to meet the 6 million foreign tourist arrivals by the end of 2016.

“We are almost at about 1.6 million in three months…we are up by about 14 percent,” he said in an interview in central Philippine city of Iloilo where he accompanied President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The DOT chief downplayed the possible negative effect of the recent beheading of a Canadian hostage in southern Philippine province of Sulu by terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group.

“Our image is still that of the beautiful fun place for tourists to go,” he said.

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