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Amid coronavirus scare, Duterte urges Pinoys to visit local tourist places

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By Prince Golez

In the midst of an outbreak of coronavirus that is spreading from China, President Rodrigo Duterte is urging Filipinos to visit Philippine tourist destinations to boost the industry.

Duterte met with tourism industry stakeholders on Monday to counter the negative effects of the spread of the coronavirus and to promote local tourism.

A Malacañang press release quoted Duterte as saying that the tourism industry in the country has a lot to offer.

Local tourist spots, according to him, are also readily accessible.

Some of the country’s major airlines and hotels agreed to offer discounted rates to the public to make a viable market for tourists, the President also said.

Duterte, meanwhile, expressed optimism that like other epidemics, the coronavirus will eventually be contained.

Among those who attended the meeting at the SMX Convention Center 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.

Also present were Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato, and Tourism Assistant Secretary Howard Lance Uyking.

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