Despite the continuing territorial squabble in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), China has named the Philippines as the most popular tourist destination in Asia, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) revealed on Friday.
The Philippines was chosen as the "most popular destination" by Guangzhou Information Times and the Guangzhou International Tourism Fair (GITF) in separate ceremonies held on March 7 in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong in southern China.
Vice president of Guangzhou Information Times Li Xinzhang presented the "Most Popular Destination in Asia" to Philippine Tourism undersecretary Daniel G. Corpuz and Consul General Raly L. Tejada in a ceremony held at the Nahu Travel Display Center.
The Philippines, the lone recipient from Southeast Asia, likewise received "Most Popular Destination Award" from the GITF. Other awardees were Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Chicago (United States), Korea, Seychelles, Mauritius, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Macau, and Italy. Consul General Tejada accepted the award on behalf of the Philippines.
The GITF is organized by the Guangdong Provincial Tourism Administration through the Tourism Administration of Guangzhou Municipality in cooperation with Hannover Milano Fairs Shanghai Ltd.
Held every year in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, the GITF has been recognized as one of the most significant annual international travel fairs in the Asia-Pacific Region for its extensive influence upon the tourism industry and related industries.
According to the Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou, a total of 59,861 visas were issued to Southern Chinese visitors to the Philippines in 2012.
[Photo: GMA News]