MANILA, Oct 24 (Mabuhay) — President Ferdinand R. Marcos has an enticing suggestion for Filipinos: Explore, travel, and discover the beauty of the Philippines.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (MNS photo)

In his weekly vlog on Saturday night, Marcos said boosting local tourism will propel economic growth.

“Lagi pong tandaan, sa bawat pagbiyahe at pamamasyal natin sa napakagandang Pilipinas, tuluy-tuloy ang ating pagbangon (Always remember, traveling to the beautiful places in the Philippines will pave the way for our continued recovery),” he said.

“Mula sa kapwa nating Pilipino ang bulto na pumapasok na kita kung kaya’t hindi ako titigil na hikayatin kayong lahat na bisitahin pa ang napakaganda mga nating tourist spot (A huge chunk of our revenues comes from our fellow Filipinos, so I will continue encouraging all of you to visit our beautiful tourist spots),” he added.

Marcos encouraged spending next week’s four-day holiday that includes “Undas” (All Saints’ Day) by visiting the best destinations in the country.

October 31 and November 1, which fall on Monday and Tuesday, are non-working holidays.

“Umpisahan na natin ngayong Undas. Isang rason kaya natin dineklarang special non-working holiday ang October 31 ay para naman magkaroon pa tayo ng mas marami pang oras para makasama ang pamilya natin at makapagplano nga sa ating mga bakasyon (Let’s begin traveling this All Saints’ Day. The reason why I declared October 31 as special non-working holiday is to allow us to have more time with family and plan our vacation),” Marcos said.

Access to more provinces

To attract more tourists, Marcos said he would continue attending promotional tourism activities in provinces and make more provinces accessible to travelers.

“Kaya kapag mas madaling puntahan, mas maraming mae-enganyo na dumalaw, mas marami ring papasok na pera sa probinsya (If a province becomes more accessible, more tourists will be encouraged to visit and more money will come in),” Marcos said.

“Sa simula’t simula pa lang ay tinukoy na natin ang industriya ng turismo bilang isa sa mga magiging susi natin para pasiglahin muli ang ekonomiya lalo na sa kanayunan. Alam nating lahat kung gaano kalawak ang mabibigyan ng mga negosyo at trabahong malilikha kapag naging matagumpay ang kampanya natin sa turismo (From the very beginning, we already identified the tourism industry as one of key drivers to revitalize our economy in the countryside. We can create more jobs, if we are able to develop our tourism sector),” he added.

Promote PH

Domestic travel continues to rise with local trips in 2021 reaching 37.27 million, higher by 38.16 percent from the 26.98 million recorded in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT) data.

The country has also welcomed some 1.6 million international guests since opening up for leisure travel in February.

Americans (335,327) have outranked South Koreans (240,469) as the Philippines’ top visitors so far, posting a total of 335,327 visitors from February to October 17.

During the same period, there were also 24,599 Chinese tourists, who were previously on the second spot.

“I am confident because I have said this many, many times that there is no warmer, more poignant sight than the smile of a Filipino and that is something that we can introduce to the world,” Marcos said in his speech during the Philippine Tourism Industry Convergence Reception at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on October 17.

Marcos said he would be persistent in promoting the Philippines as a destination ready to welcome local and foreign travelers.

“Higit pa sa pagbangong inaasam, ang pangarap ko ay maipakilala muli ang Pilipinas sa buong mundo (On top of our recovery, my dream is to reintroduce the Philippines to the world),” Marcos said. (MNS)