More fun in PHL, Pinoy execs tell Italians
According to a news release of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippine Consulate General in Milan coordinated with the Department of Tourism's (DOT) London office in
setting up the Philippine booth for the fair.
"With huge beautifully arranged scenic posters bordered with bamboos, the Philippine booth featured well known Italian tour operators promoting Philippine package tours," the DFA said.
Chit Afuang of DOT-London assisted the tour operators answer inquiries from visitors, the DFA added.
Tourism eyed as answer to unemployment
On Thursday, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said yourism could hold the key to the Aquino administration's efforts to solve unemployment and poverty.
Jimenez said President Benigno Simeon Aquino III wants tourism to be the major economic driver for the country.
"(O)ur President dreams big dreams. And one of his dreams is that tourism will be THE major economic driver to help address unemployment and poverty," he said in a speech before the Consular Corps of the Philippines in Makati City.
Jimenez's statement came shortly after pollster Social Weather Stations released on Thursday the results of its Dec. 3-7, 2011 survey indicating that unemployment had risen to 24 percent, equivalent to some 9.7 million Filipinos without jobs.
Jimenez said they expect one billion tourists to travel to different destinations worldwide this year, and called for help to increase the Philippines' share.
Last year, the Philippines hit a record high of 3.9 million arrivals, 4.6 percent more than its target of 3.7 million.
This was the first time that the country exceeded its tourism target, Jimenez said.
For 2012, Jimenez said the country is aiming for 10 million tourist arrivals.
"You come to the Philippines because it’s more fun in the Philippines. Because the Filipino makes it his personal responsibility to make sure you’re okay. That is uniquely Filipino," he said. - VVP, GMA News