Philippine tourism boss cancels HK tour

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 September, 2010, 12:00am

Despite his initial intentions, Philippine tourism chief Alberto Lim won't be in Hong Kong to promote holidays soon.

A week after the August 23 tragedy, Lim proposed a promotional blitz and a 'special package' to lure tourists to the Philippines.

But during a congressional hearing on Tuesday he told opposition congresswomen Milagros Magsaysay: 'We believe that we should not immediately go to Hong Kong and ask that market to come back.

'We should express sympathy as the first step in curing the problem. It is something that has to heal naturally.' Hongkongers and mainlanders account for nearly 10 per cent of visitors to the Philippines.

Boracay and Cebu have both reported slumps in arrivals from Hong Kong since the shootings. However, the tourism office at the budget terminal at Diosdado Macapagal Airport at Clark, Angeles, north of Manila, recorded 2,238 arrivals from Hong Kong from August 24 to 27 - up from 1,067 in the same period last year.