Philippines to miss tourism targets due to disasters
MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines is unlikely to hit its target of five million tourists this year due to damage caused by twin disasters, a tourism official said Saturday.
Typhoon Haiyan hit on November 8 and a 7.1-magnitude earthquake on October 15, causing devastation in tourist areas which resulted in many cancelled reservations, said Mr Domingo Enerio, chief of the government's Tourism Promotions Board.
Both the 2013 target and the 6.8 million target for 2014 may have to be revised in the face of the damage, he said. "We have been beset by huge challenges: the earthquake and typhoon. It was a double whammy for the Philippines," he told AFP.
Tourist arrivals up to September have already reached about 3.6 million, up from 3.2 million in the same period last year, he said. But the disasters will affect arrivals in the last three months which are the peak season for tourists, he warned.