The president of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino, said that the country targets 6.8 million foreign tourists next year. The European Union lifted the ban on the country's air carriers, which should help reach the goal.
6.8 million visitors are 24% more than is the target for this year – 5.5 million. Aquino said that the country aims to improve its performance. The president has decided to put more pressure on Ramon Jimenez Jr who is the Tourism Secretary to adjust the targets for foreign travelers and also the domestic ones. Aquino said that Jimenez accepted the challenge in a gracious way.
By 2016, the government is expecting 56.1 million local travelers and 10 million foreign tourists by the end of the six year term for Aquino. International tourists who visited the country in the first five months of the year surpassed the 2 million mark.
The Civil Aviation of Philippine was hailed by the president for the stunning progress for the work it has done that resulted in the Significant Safety Concerns that came from the International Civil Aviation organization last March as well as the removal of the EU ban for the Philippine carriers.
On his part, Jimenez said that the move by EU to finally allow the Philippine Airline which is the country's carrier to resume its flights in Europe is an excellent opportunity for local tourism. European travelers who visited the country totaled 213,598 from January to May, 8.5 % more than last year. Most of these visitors came from France, Germany and Britain.