My Google Page Rank

RP tourism ends Hong Kong push after hostage deaths

PDFPrintE-mail

The Philippines has announced it will stop marketing its tourist attractions to Hong Kong as the key market is lost after a hostage-taking fiasco left eight people from the southern Chinese territory dead.

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said the government would instead focus its marketing efforts on other countries to hit the target of 3.3 million arrivals this year from just over 3 million in 2009.

"Going to Hong Kong at this time would be wrong. They would say we are only after their business. We should show sympathy instead," the minister added.

The Chinese territory issued a an alert warning against all visits to the Philippines after a sacked police officer hijacked a tourist bus in Manila, killing eight Hong Kong visitors as police mounted a bungled rescue.

The August 23 bloodbath outraged China and Hong Kong residents and prompted many prospective visitors to cancel. Some tourists already in the country left abruptly before their tours were completed.

It was a huge loss, with Hong Kong and China accounting for 9%  of tourist arrivals in the Philippines, according to the tourism department.

Secretary Lim said the Philippines lost about P40 million ($890,000) in tourist income in the first 2 weeks after the hijacking.

New President Benigno Aquino has tagged tourism, currently seen as performing well below its full potential, with visitor arrivals at just a fraction of the traffic in nearby countries, as a key economic growth driver.

Samie Lim, vice-president for tourism for the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said he found in recent visits to Hong Kong and China that the tragedy remained front-page news there.

"We are in the newspapers every day. We are on television. Everybody knows about it. The visual of what happened is very fresh in the minds of the public," the business leader said.

"This will be a difficult market to turn around," he warned.

To mollify foreign governments, Aquino named a high-level panel to investigate the bloodbath and look into whom might be culpable.

Though the results have not been made public, its head, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, said it recommended the criminal prosecution of more than a dozen people including police officials.

Cesar Cruz, head of the Philippine Tour Operators Association, told AFP the key to recovery is for the authorities to do everything necessary to prevent the tragedy creating a long-lasting negative impression.

"We can now feel the immediate impact as this is the season for holidays in most of our regional markets like Hong Kong, Japan, China and (South) Korea," he said.

"If we (and) the authorities like the Department of Tourism will play their cards right, we can avert a long-term effect," Cruz added.

Secretary Lim said the promised delivery of the report to the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities would help soothe the anger against the Philippines.
"It will definitely help especially if it is credible. If it will satisfy the Hong Kong government, then it will help. They will see that the incident was resolved and there was closure," the minister told AFP.

The tourism ministry hopes public anger over the incident will have passed by December, peak season for tourists arriving from Hong Kong and which extends to the Chinese lunar new year the following February.

"We should emphasise other markets to make sure there are replacements," Secretary Lim said.

He said that despite the furore over the hostage incident, tourists from other key markets like South Korea, the United States and Japan were not deterred and were still coming to the Philippines.

"Even the Taiwanese are still coming. They don't feel personally threatened," he added.

By Mynardo Macaraig




Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

LGU, gov’t agencies to forge MOA on water monitoring project

08 May 2018 Hits:355 Be the first to comment!

The local government will be forging a partnership with national government agencies for a water monitoring project on Friday, May 11. City Planning Officer Engr. Rodrigo Sicat on Monday, May 7, announced the upcoming partnership between the LGU, the National Water Resources Board, and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST – PCIEERD) for the establishment of ground water monitoring wells. Under the project, four wells will be established in Calarian, the Sanitary Landfill, Putik, and Tugbungan. These are real-time ground monitoring stations that will feed information via cellular network and uploaded real-time, Sicat explained. “The Ateneo de Manila University, who is also a partner on this project, will inform us [...] Read more

Prev Next Page:

Four Kidnap victims rescued in Zamboanga del Norte

14 Mar 2018 Hits:730 Be the first to comment!

Four kidnap victims, who were held captive for nine days in Sirawai town, Zamboanga del Norte, have been escued, the military said. The Western Mindanao Command's spokesperson, Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, said [...] Read more


Beng urges women: Be brave, be strong

09 Mar 2018 Hits:614 Be the first to comment!

In celebration of women empowerment, Mayor Beng Climaco urged all women to be brave and strong amidst challenges and difficulties. Speaking to hundreds of women and men who joined the Marcha [...] Read more


CA denies Musa’s motion on IP seat in City Council

09 Mar 2018 Hits:670 Be the first to comment!

The Court of Appeals has denied Ismael Musa’s motion for reconsideration relative to his assertion as sectoral representative of the Indigenous People in the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Zamboanga City. In a [...] Read more


City welcomes Curuan-Sibuco road

07 Mar 2018 Hits:764 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco has welcomed the inclusion of the Curuan-Sibuco road project, one of the subprojects proposed under Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project (IGCMRSP) of the Department [...] Read more


Beng welcomes Litlit’s appointment as SP member

15 Feb 2018 Hits:882 Be the first to comment!

President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed San Roque Barangay Chairman Joselito “Litlit” Macrohom as member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod or City council replacing Charlie Mariano who stepped down from office last [...] Read more


City Registrar observes Civil Reg Month

15 Feb 2018 Hits:717 Be the first to comment!

The city, through the Office of the City Civil Registrar,is observing the Civil Registration Month this February with several activities highlighting the importance of civil registration. The month-long observance is punctuated [...] Read more


CHO stresses need for measles vaccination

14 Feb 2018 Hits:687 Be the first to comment!

The City Health Office (CHO) yesterday appealed to parents to submit their children for measles vaccination. This after a seven-month baby died last February 6, 2018 allegedly due to measles, five [...] Read more


MYEISHA JOLO DOWN M.LOZANO TAWI – TAWI

11 Jan 2018 Hits:747 Be the first to comment!

Este el Istoria del Jong Cariaga Mindanao Cup 2018 que ya hace na Golden Boys gym anoche. Ya sale Champion el Myeisha Jolo kay completo todo departamento del juego especialmente [...] Read more


BFP personnel to undergo fire suppression activities

10 Jan 2018 Hits:661 Be the first to comment!

Personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection in Zamboanga City will undergo fire suppression trainings in the days to come in a bid to keep them abreast of the firefighting [...] Read more


RED CORALS UNITED Y RESTO DEL MUNDO FC –TABLA

10 Jan 2018 Hits:630 Be the first to comment!

Del Domingo pasao ya mira kita con el Resto Del Mundo FC contra Red Corals United donde ya sale Tabla el juego na Soccer Football. Amo quel el ultimo juego [...] Read more


TFZ gets 10 motorcycles from City Government

09 Jan 2018 Hits:681 Be the first to comment!

Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ) on Monday received from the local government 10 units of XRM motorcycles for security patrols in the outskirts of the city. Mayor Beng Climaco together with Councilor [...] Read more


Beng leads destruction of seized items

09 Jan 2018 Hits:659 Be the first to comment!

To show the Local Government’s firm commitment to public safety and security, Mayor Beng Climaco on Monday personally maneuvered a road roller and led the destruction of seized items such [...] Read more


Warring clans arm cache seized by gov't troops in Lanao del Sur

09 Jan 2018 Hits:692 Be the first to comment!

The military on Saturday seized a cached of high-powered firearms from warring clans, following a clearing operation in Lanao del Sur province. Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, [...] Read more


BOALAN AGM TEAM OUTSMART FARRAH J

09 Jan 2018 Hits:631 Be the first to comment!

MINDANAO LEAGUE 2018 BY JONG CARIAGA: Boalan Agm  nuevo star athlete Kaiwa Sabdulla y si Neil Jumao-as ya dale mira kay puede sila gana con el maga mapuersa team como el [...] Read more


ANIMO JORTZ SURPRISED FARRAH J TEAM

08 Jan 2018 Hits:546 Be the first to comment!

JONG CARIAGA BASKETBALL MINDANAO CUP ‘18. Que el juego ta ase na golden boys gym ta principia 7:00 del noche. Fritz Vesagas amo el ya ase gana con el disuyu [...] Read more


BASKETBALL THRILLA IN ZAMBOANGA

07 Jan 2018 Hits:575 Be the first to comment!

JONG CARIAGA MINDANAO CUP Este el un torneo que debe kita mira kay el team del Myiesha Jolo tiene 5 ex PBA athleta y el losdemas puru mga star players de [...] Read more


Climaco reiterates appeal to Customs: Stop smuggling

06 Jan 2018 Hits:1179 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco has once again appealed to the Bureau of Customs to clean up Zamboanga City against smuggling, and it can only be done if the agency will deputize [...] Read more


Escapee recaptured in Isabela

06 Jan 2018 Hits:618 Be the first to comment!

An inmate who escaped last Tuesday night from his cell in Isbela City was recaptured by the Isabela City Police on Wednesday afternoon in one of the islands in Maluso, [...] Read more