DOT sees tour cancellations amid China travel warning

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2014 06:02 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2014 02:24 AM

MANILA - The Department of Tourism (DOT) expects tourist arrivals from China to take a hit following Beijing's travel advisory to the Philippines for its nationals.

"We would expect some cancellation of certain tour groups coming out of China into the Philippines. This is obviously a cause for concern," Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said in an interview on ANC on Saturday.

China on Friday asked its citizens not to travel to the Philippines for now due to recent kidnapping incidents involving its nationals, and an alleged plot to attack the Chinese Embassy and Chinese companies in Manila by a group calling itself United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE).

According to Jimenez, China is one of the Philippines' top five markets in terms of tourist arrivals with nearly 500,000 Chinese tourists visiting the country each year.

He said they plan to take steps to reassure the Chinese government through diplomatic channels that the Philippines is still a safe destination for its nationals.

"We are working with our counterpart there to clarify the situation and make sure that they have the most accurate information possible," he said.

"The government has always been very vigilant when it comes to threats to tourists," he added.

Meanwhile, Jimenez said they are also moving quickly to ease concerns over the safety of South Korean nationals in the country amid a recent report by The Korea Times showing supposed rising number of crimes against South Korean in the Philippines. -- With ANC