3M foreign tourists visit RP in 2009, same as in ’08

Despite the economic crisis, destructive typhoons, the threat of kidnapping and gory stories of massacres, the Philippines managed to stay afloat with tourism arrivals.

Foreign arrivals still averaged 3 million, pretty much the same as in 2008. “Zero growth is better than going negative,” said Oscar Palabyab, tourism undersecretary.

The year 2009 showed a reduction in Japanese and American arrivals. But in Baguio City, Europeans topped tourist arrivals.

Palabyab lauded the city for recovering well from the onslaught of typhoon Pepeng, which destroyed major road systems and turned away the much-awaited Advertising Congress originally scheduled to be held here last November. The congress was held instead in Subic, Zambales.

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