Despite the travel advisories issued by several embassies due to terrorism threats in the province, the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) still recorded an increase in foreign arrivals, the park’s management said Thursday.
According to PPUR Management Office Chief Elizabeth Maclang, the UNESCO World Heritage Site welcomed 69,867 foreign visitors for the month of January to September 2017, slightly higher than 67,734 visitors in the same period last year.
“It’s very surprising, considering the travel advisories issued by the US, UK, Canada and Australia,” Maclang said in a press conference on Thursday, October 12.
The issuance of travel warnings had prompted them to activate the multi-sectoral Sabang Task Force, with every establishment having an area of assignment.
“But, before the advisories came out, the existence of law enforcement agencies, such as the Coast Guard, tourist police and marines, are already there,” she said.
To redeem itself and further invite foreign tourists, Maclang said the management has been sending its staff in international travel fairs. Recently, she added, they joined a travel fair in South Korea’s New 7 Wonders of Nature-listed Jeju, also a sister city of Puerto Puerto Princesa.
Meanwhile, the local arrivals slightly went down from Jan. to Sept. 2016’s 187,366 visitors to 171,366 during the same period this year.
“The 16,000-difference is insignificant as the year has yet to end,” she said.
All in all, the world-acclaimed tourism spot recorded 241,181 visitors in Jan. to Sept. 2017, higher than Jan. to Sept. 2016’s 225,080 visitors.