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Philippines among Asia’s booming tourist spots

The Philippines is one of Asia’s hottest tourism spots, according to Forbes.com where a recent article cites the country’s infrastructure and connectivity improvements amid continuing image problems.

A March 28 article, titled “The 5 Spots in Asia That Are Booming With Tourists in 2018” and written by Carol Ramoran-Malasig, listed the Philippines, along with Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea, as experiencing a “marked uptick” in visitor arrivals.

The Philippines experienced 10.96% growth in 2017 tourist numbers, or 6.6 million, with over 675,000 coming from Europe — 7.3% higher compared to the previous year.

“Whatever challenges we may have in any market, it is encouraging to see the Philippines’ total tourism figures still continue to grow, which is a strong indication of a global interest for traveling to the Philippines…,” tourism attaché Margarita Valdes was quoted as saying.

Despite image setbacks from the Marawi crisis and hyped peace and order concerns, Valdes said these issues were eclipsed by world-class tourist attractions around the country.

Local infrastructure improvements also allowed these destinations to be served by domestic airports and new international connections. Qatar Airways recently linked Doha to Cebu and Davao.

The Department of Tourism (DoT) noted recent renovations at the Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental, and the New Bohol International Airport in Panglao.

Improved air connectivity is also expected to follow the country’s hosting of Routes Asia 2019 in Cebu next year, the DoT said.

Sea connectivity is also being boosted with major shipping firms such as Norwegian Cruise Lines and Windstar Cruises set to visit for the first time.

“Several cruise ships will be returning, some even increasing port calls including MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Ovation of the Seas, Silversea Cruises’ Silver Whisper and Silver Shadow, and Crystal Cruises,” the DoT claimed.

The other countries included in the list are: Japan, Malaysia,

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