President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with aviation and tourism stakeholders during a meeting at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on February 10, 2020. /Presidential Photo
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday met with tourism industry stakeholders in order to counter the negative effects brought about by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) scare and to promote the country’s tourism sector to local tourists.
Duterte said he wants Filipinos to visit the country’s local tourist destinations in order to boost the industry in the midst of the coronavirus scare.
The 2019-nCoV has affected more than a dozen countries worldwide.
Duterte said the Philippine tourism industry has a lot to offer.
He said that the country has good public health and law and order situation.
Local tourist spots are also readily accessible, the President said.
During his meeting, the President said that some of the country’s major airlines and hotels agreed to offer discounted rates to the public to make a viable market for tourists.
At the same time, he expressed optimism that like other epidemics, the 2019-nCoV will eventually be contained.
Among those who attended the meeting at the SMX Convention Center at the MOA Complex in Pasay City were Philippine Hotel Owners Association President Arthur Lopez, AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricardo Isla, Philippine Airlines President Gilbert Santamaria, and Cebu Pacific Air President and CEO Lance Gokongwei. Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato, and Tourism Assistant Secretary Howard Lance Uyking were also present./Stacy Ang