The Department of Tourism is planning to restore and develop old churches and historical shrines nationwide as it gears to make the Philippines a "religious pilgrimage destination."
"Plans are underway to make the Philippines a destination with unique spiritual significance that will attract millions of pilgrims from all corners of the world, as shown in popular religious festivities in Cebu, Iloilo, and Bohol,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said in a statement.
“The Philippines is an ideal destination of religious pilgrimage, not only for sightseeing but to actually experience time-honored Filipino traditions dating back to pre-Spanish era, and then the Christianization,” she said.
The Department of Tourism is also coordinating with tour operators to craft "spiritual tour packages" for the "6.6 million Catholic faithful in Asia."
"In South Korea alone, the Philippines’ top tourist market, there five million Catholics while there are 800,000 in Malaysia; 500,000 in Japan; 200,000 in Thailand, and 185,000 in Singapore," Teo said, justifying the viability of the program.
The DOT has yet to release a list of the possible religious sites that will be included in its envisioned religious pilgrimage program for tourists.