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Still more fun in PH! Palace remains upbeat on tourism despite cancellation of foreign trips

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Malacañang assured foreign tourists on Friday (April 21) that it’s still safe– and fun– to visit the Philippines amid the travel advisories issued by certain countries and the reported mass cancellations of some trips.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that while the government understands why there are countries that have advised their citizens against traveling to the Philippines, it is taking steps to address security concerns.

“[W]e assure everyone that the Philippines remains a safe place to work, to conduct business, or simply to have fun. Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo is corresponding with her counterparts in the region to give assurances on the matter,” he said in a statement.

Despite the recent encounter of the military with members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Bohol, Abella noted that the ASEAN meetings in the province still pushed through. He said the Philippine National Police (PNP) is refocusing its efforts on the security preparations for the ASEAN summit scheduled next week.

Meanwhile, Abella said the security around Palawan has been strengthened.

He added that while the government still advises tourists to be mindful of their surroundings, “it is still more fun in the Philippines.”

Abella’s statement comes at the heels of the travel advisories issued by the United States, Australia, Canada and South Korea telling their citizens to be careful when visiting the Philippines.

The head of Rajah Tours, one of the biggest travel agencies in the country, also said some 400 Japanese tourists have cancelled their trips after the military’s clash with the Abu Sayyaf.