Department of Tourism needs to work harder amid warning on travel to Mindanao -- Binay

THE Department of Tourism must work double time to increase tourist arrival and development of other tourist destinations following the travel advisories issued to Mindanao by United Kingdom and Australia, Senator Nancy Binay said yesterday.

“Dapat magdoble-kayod ang DoT sa pag-counter ng negative publicity na resulta ng mga travel advisory,” Binay, who heads the Senate’s Committee on Tourism, said in a statement.

The two countries issued travel advisories following the bombing of a Cotabato City mall on New Year’s eve. 

The two countries cautioned their citizens from travelling to Mindanao because of terrorist activity and kidnapping.

“Of course, we have to respect these countries’ prerogatives in issuing advisories out of concern for their citizens. There are times, though, that these advisories are unnecessary and sometimes exaggerated,” she said.

Binay also urged the police and military to help ensure that accurate reports on security situations localities are provided to embassies of other countries. She pointed out that the burden lies on the government to convince tourists that the country is safe to visit and their welfare is a top priority.

The bombing posed a huge impact on the incoming plebiscite that will determine the inclusion of the province in the Bangsamoro autonomous region.

Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani was quoted that her constituents might vote against their inclusion due to alleged abuses from its advocates.