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Atmosphere Resorts, Dumaguete, taken on 19 November 2013 (Philippines DoT)
Atmosphere Resorts, Dumaguete, taken on 19 November 2013 (Philippines DoT)
Boracay (Friday's Resort), image taken 14 November 2013 (Philippines DoT)
Boracay (Friday's Resort), image taken 14 November 2013 (Philippines DoT)

Philippines continues to welcome visitors

19th November 2013

The Philippines' Department for Tourism is encouraging travellers to keep visiting the islands, large parts of which remain undamaged by Typhoon Haiyan

In a statement on their website, the department insisted that the majority of the archipelago is safe and accessible. Adding, “we are still the same beautiful country and we are still the same people”, the department assured travellers that “both domestic and international transport in the Philippines remains available and continues to be operational”.

The assessment accords with information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO has advised against all but essential travel to the Eastern Visayas region, which was badly hit by the typhoon, but places no restrictions on travel to many nearby islands. These include Iloilo, Bohol and Bacolod.

Though the town of El Nido on Palawan, an island famed for its exotic wildlife, sustained minor damaged, it is also fully operational with flights to and from the island running on schedule.

The Department of Tourism reports that the majority of hotels in Cebu and Boracay, which boast beaches that are consistently voted the best in Asia, are also operating normally. Both destinations are free from FCO restrictions though visitors are advised to “check local conditions before travelling”.

Many areas of the Philippines depend on tourism, which accounts for around 8% of the country's GDP. Tourism could play a decisive role in the recovery of the islands and it is hoped that visitors will not be put off by the recent disaster.

The Philippines Tourist Board was contacted for further comment. Since the original publication of the story, we have received the following statement:

"Tourism is a key contributor to the development of the country in rebuilding lives and businesses in communities. The best way tourists can assist those local residents affected is by providing much needed continuity of employement by visiting the Philippines and reducing any period of a substantive downturn in the visitor economy.

"The Philippines remains a safe and fun destination for all tourists, notwithstanding this unfortunate incident. The DOT [Department of Tourism] assures the travelling public that tourism establishments and tourism activities continue and remain in operation in most parts of the Philippines."

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