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Tourism chief belittles impact of oil spill

August 30, 2006

By Roderick T. dela Cruz

TOURISM Secretary Ace Durano yesterday said the oil slick infecting the waters and shores of several coastal towns in Guimaras will have minimal impact on international visitor arrivals to the Philippines.

“There are only 216 resort rooms in Guimaras province, which is a very small percentage of the country’s total resort room capacity,” Durano said.

Durano said the oil slick, caused by the sinking of Solar I tanker ship carrying 1.9 million liters in waters off Guimaras on Aug. 11, will not prevent the country from achieving its target of attracting three million foreign tourists in 2006.

“Guimaras is primarily a destination for domestic tourists. Overall, foreign visitor arrivals are not affected,” he said.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who visited Guimaras on Monday, also noted that only seven of the 24 resorts in the island-province were affected by the oil spill, as she encouraged tourists to visit the other unaffected 17 resorts.

(Click M. Standard Today for the full story, Aug. 30, 2006.)

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BUT of course! As long as Cebu gets the bulk of the tourists, right Ace? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

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