- Category: Nation
13 Jul 2013
- Written by Joey Pavia
TOURISM Assistant Secretary Benito Bengzon on Friday expressed confidence that the country will meet its target of more than 5 million tourists in 2013, describing the tourism industry as “vibrant, dynamic and aggressive.”
Bengzon said the DOT had registered more than 2 million tourist arrivals in the first five months of the year, and “we are right on track of achieving our goals.”
He spoke at the opening of the Second Travel Madness Expo 2013 on July 12 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.
“By 2016, we will have 10 million tourists owing to the steady growth,” Bengzon said.
He lauded Travel Innovators, organizers of the Travel Madness Expo held at the SMX’s ground floor, for a “very successful event” that helped generate tourists. “The venue is full this early even before we started.” Bengzon said.
He also disclosed that Palawan has just been named the “Best Island in the World” by a prestigious magazine based in the US.
Arcilla also lauded the “successful event” and cited the recent lifting of the ban of the European Union on Philippine aircraft.
“The ban is lifted on Philippine Airlines…maybe Cebu Pacific is next [to be allowed to fly] to Europe,” Arcilla said.
Maria Paz Alberto, vice president of the Travel Innovators and president of the Makati-based Ark Travel Express Inc., said in her speech, “having gone to different parts of the world, I couldn’t notice how event organizers try really hard to infuse fun and excitement into their activities, but to no avail— there aren’t much smiles in the faces of the exhibitors and visitors as we see here in our own country.”