“It seems they just stopped short of calling us paradise,” President Benigno Aquino 3rd said in his State of the Nation Address on Monday, boasting of the tourism success achieved in the past year.
Titles like “most romantic” and “best destination” by international publications were given to the Philippines in the past year, which could have contributed to the record-breaking 4.3 million tourist arrivals in the country in 2012.
“According to the Oriental Morning Post, we are the ‘Best Tourism Destination of 2012,’” Aquino said in his SONA.
“And it seems the Shanghai Morning Post fell in love with our country when they named us the ‘Most Romantic Destination of 2012,’” Aquino added.
Scuba diving magazine called the country “the best diving destination,” and the island of Palawan being called “the best island” said Travel + Leisure Magazine.
This tourism success, Aquino said, enabled the department to generate more job opportunities for Filipinos.
“The DOT [Department of Tourism] estimates that tourism created 3.8 million jobs in 2011,” he said.
“The truth is, it is not just our scenic and most famed destinations that will profit from the arrival of tourists, but also the nearby towns that can be considered tourism support communities,” he added.
“The places from which resorts and hotels source the food that they serve, the souvenirs that they sell, as well as other products and services that provide a source of income for our provinces,” he president pointed out in his speech.