The Daily Manila Shimbun


Four-day United Nations tourism conference starts

June 21, 2017

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said holding the 6th International Conference on Tourism Statistics: Measuring Sustainable Tourism in the Philippines can be used to attract tourists amidst the ongoing fighting  in Marawi City. Marcio Favilla of UNWTO said in a press conference: “It’s not a coincidence because we received gracious proposal from the government of the Philippines to hold the conference here and we saw that would be a great opportunity to send the right message to the world”. The Philippines is hosting the 6th International Conference on Tourism Statistics attended by 86 countries and 973 participants where 363 are foreigners and 610 are locals, Assistant Tourism Secretary Ricky Alegre said. The conference started Wednesday and ends on Saturday. A country suffering from a certain problem “should receive international support not be isolated” and that is the "clear position" of UNWTO in issuing travel advisories, Favilla said. He pointed out three things countries should consider before issuing a travel advisory. “They have to consider their travel advice on a geo-referenced base …(they )should not throw blanket over the whole country but to be very clear where the problems”, Favilla said. “Second, the travel advices should be time bound and not issued one day and be there forever ... the third, the countries affected should be consulted that consultation will eventually lead to more precise, more correct travel advice “he added. UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai invited people around the world to visit the Philippines. “We send a message to the world. You should come and see Philippines”, Rifai said in the opening ceremony. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said the Philippines plans to promote tourism in the southern part of the country after the conflict with the Maute group in Marawi settles down. “Tourism had 8.6 percent of  GDP in 2016 and 5.2 million people which is 12.8 percent of the total employment,” he said. .Pimentel said the Duterte administration is promoting the golden age of infrastructure that will build and support tourism in the countryside. (Alanna Ambi/DMS)