ILOILO City – South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-Man vowed to take 2 million Korean tourists in the Philippines this year.
He said this during the last day of the recently concluded 51st Dinagyang Festival.
“Recently, I met President (Rodrigo) Duterte and I made a promise to bring 2 million Korean tourists to this country,” Han said while he was in the Judging Area No. 2 of the dagyang tribes dance competition.
Iloilo is among the “beautiful” tourist destinations in the country, according to Han, adding that he wants his fellow Koreans to witness Dinagyang, which he said was filled with “wonderful and fantastic performances.”
Han also mentioned local delicacies – such as bulalo, pancit, kare-kare, halo-halo, and beef tapa – which he found delicious.
According to Han, the Philippine tourism industry has a lot of potential.
In Western Visayas, for example, the tourism officials can offer tour packages including the world-famous Boracay Island and other Iloilo destinations.
Han said he was aware that a good number of Korean nationals are in Iloilo City to learn English.
“There are more than 1,000 Korean citizens studying English here. So, I encourage other Korean citizens to come here in Iloilo to continue their studies,” he added.
The Korean ambassador also said around 1.5 million Koreans visited the Philippines in 2018.
Records from the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 6, meanwhile, showed that there were 199,678 Koreans who visited Western Visayas last year, particularly in Boracay.
Koreans came in second with the most number of tourist arrivals in the region, following Chinese nationals, which have 249,192 arrivals, DOT records added.
This year, South Korea and Philippines will celebrate their 70th anniversary of having diplomatic ties./PN