Philippine envoy eyes greater cooperation in different fields
RIYADH: The Philippine Embassy expressed satisfaction regarding its participation in the Riyadh International Exhibition held recently in the Saudi capital.
“With our participation, we saw further possible cooperation with the Kingdom in different fields where we can enhance our relationships,” Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago said.
The Filipino envoy said that the exhibition, held under the auspices of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, provided an opportunity to Saudis and foreigners to know more about the Philippines, which is also called “The Pearl of the Orient.”
He said: “The event also enabled us to know more about other people’s cultures which we have only heard about or read in books and magazines.”
Minister Counselor and Consul General Marshall Louis Alferez said that during the exhibition, the Philippine Embassy showcased various tourist destinations in the country’s 7,100 islands.
“These destinations include the underground river in Puerto Princesa and the white sandy beaches of the Visayas region as well as Davao in Mindanao,” he said.
“Vigan showcases the well-preserved ancient Hispanic culture that summons up the country’s historic past,” he said, adding that it’s one of the favorite destinations for Saudi and other tourists.
Philippines attracted a record 38,969 Saudi tourists in 2013, compared to 2009 which saw only 19,101 Saudi visitors, registering an increase of 104 percent. The total growth in 2013 was up by 29.7 percent from the previous year while the average visitor growth since 2009 has been at 19.8 percent.
The embassy said that the consistent increase in the number of Saudi visitors to the Philippines has been helped by the country’s tourism promotional activities in the Kingdom in partnership with the Saudi travel agencies.