News that Chinese travel agencies are suspending tours to the Philippines amid territorial disputes over Scarborough Shoal has not ruffled the feathers of Philippine Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr, who maintains the move will “not have a major impact” on the country’s tourism.
e-Travel Blackboard was on location in Los Angeles where Mr Jimenez admitted the Department of Tourism was saddened by events but claimed that, “from a business stand point, it’s far from disastrous”.
“The Philippines has at least ten primary markets, China is only one of them and not even in the top three,” Mr Jimenez said.
“Last year, the Philippines welcomed 243,000 visitors from China – nothing to write your mother about.”
Mr Jimenez assured media the actions of the Chinese travel agencies will likely be temporary and until the return of the Chinese tourists, the Philippine Department of Tourism will look to its “traditionally stronger markets” to make up the numbers.
“There is so much interest to go to the Philippines in Japan. So maybe this is as good a time as any to strengthen our efforts there,” Mr Jimenez said, adding that now may be the time to reallocate resources accordingly.
Mr Jimenez was clear that the Chinese will always be very welcome in the Philippines and hopes the dispute will be resolved quickly.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A