20 November 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said today the PH remains a safe and fun destination for all tourists, notwithstanding the recent Typhoon Haiyan, and that tourism establishments and activities continue to be operational.

"Top destinations in the Visayas, including the world-famous Boracay island, were largely unaffected by the typhoon," Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya said.

The Ambassador made the reassurance as the Philippine Department of Tourism prepares for the arrival on Thursday, November 21, of 112 Malaysians and Filipinos based in Malaysia under the Embassy's "Ambassador's Tour to the Philippines" from November 21 to 25.

The Tour participants will arrive in Manila Thursday morning, and would enjoy three days of tours within and around Manila, with trips to historical Intramuros, a day at the Villa Escudero, and optional tours to Tagaytay and Corregidor.

They will be flying back to Malaysia on November 25.

Joining the Tour are noted personalities, including Tan Sri Othman Merican, Shapadu Energy and Engineering Sdn Bhd Aminuddin Abdul Rahman, Forex Cargo-Malaysia director Tess Dizon, and engineering firm Azdaman Engineering general manager Edna Encarnacion.

"There has no cancelation among the participants," Ambassador Malaya said.

"Tourism is one of the major contributors to the Philippine economy, and one of the more effective ways for foreigners to assist in the recovery and rehabilitations of affected areas is for foreign tourists to continue to visit the Philippines. It is our hope that this tour can help in such endeavor," Ambassador Malaya said.

"It is our wish that with this tour, we can say that Filipinos are as accommodating and welcoming as ever to any visitor who comes to its shores. We can reaffirm to the world that the Filipino spirit is indomitable and unbreakable," he stated.

The Tour was initiated by the Embassy to highlight the Malaysian tourists' increasing interest on the Philippines and showcase the unique attractiveness of Philippine tourism destinations, as well as to allow Filipinos to reconnect and rediscover their roots.

In 2012, 114,513 Malaysians visited the Philippines, an increase of 24.81 percent from 2011, breaching the 100,000 mark for the first time and making Malaysia its 10th largest tourist market. Meanwhile, Tourism Malaysia reported that 508,744 Filipinos visited Malaysia in 2012, representing a 40.5 percent growth from the previous year, and is the seventh-largest tourist market for Malaysia. END