By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, Nov. 13 (PNA) — The Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Friday it expects around 10,000 delegates attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Manila next week to visit tourist destinations near the metropolis and out-of-town as soon as the meetings end.
DOT Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato Jr. said a number of tour operators are ready with travel packages to several sites near Manila like Corregidor and Taal as well as to out-of-town destinations such as Cebu, Bohol, and Palawan.
“Per our experience in meetings the past months in host destinations like Iloilo, Tagaytay, and Bataan, delegates firmed up their tour plans after the meetings,” Boncato said in a text message to the Philippines News Agency.
“We expect the same in Manila next week,” he added.
Boncato, meanwhile, said that tour desks are also set to consolidate information on tours at the end of the country’s hosting of this year’s APEC events.
DOT chairs the sub-committees on tours, souvenirs, site-enhancement, and cultural shows and events for all APEC meetings.
Boncato said that the department officials currently have their hands full in planning and implementing these.
DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. had earlier said that 32 percent of APEC delegates have already confirmed plans to extend their stay in the Philippines.
This estimate, however, was based on past APEC meetings.
The first APEC meeting in the country was held in Subic, Zambales, in 1996. (PNA)