The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Sunday revealed visitors have opted to cancel their trips to Mindanao due to President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in the region.
"Kung siguro walang martial law, baka walang cancellations," Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo revealed in an interview with Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson on Sunday.
"So 'yong pag-declare ng martial law, may mga natakot, so nag-cancel sila, but they promise to go back once na-lift na 'yong martial law," she added.
However, quoting a regional director from Cagayan de Oro City, Teo also shared that foreign visitors are "more afraid of ISIS than martial law."
Tourists are still traveling to Davao, Siargao, Cagayan de Oro, and Camiguin, Teo told Uson, but disclaimed that, "There will always be cancellations. Mayroong nag-cancel, mayroon din nag-book, mayroon din magre-rebook once ready na."
Teo in a previous statement asserted that the cancellations were merely a "temporary setback" and expressed confidence in the region's ability to recover from a crisis.
The DOT in a press conference on Wednesday revealed that the number of foreign tourists arriving in the Philippines from January to March increased by 11.4 percent compared to last year's data.
However, the DOT still does not have the estimate of the number of arrivals of foreign visitors in the country following the martial law declaration in Mindanao and the recent incident in Resorts World Manila. —ALG, GMA News