11 July 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed the members of the 8th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors’ Tour (ACGTDT) in a courtesy call in Malacañang.
As the balikbayans toured around the country for the past few days, President Aquino took the chance to share in his speech the growing number of visitors coming to the Philippines. He said that 4.3 million international tourists were recorded in 2012 and 37.5 million domestic travellers in 2011, surpassing the 2016 target. He also mentioned several publications’ regard of the country as the world’s best diving and beach destinations.
Likewise, the President invited the diplomats present to do their part in building the country’s potential. “The spirit of bayanihan – the spirit of coming together to lift each other up – burns bright in every Filipino, and far though you may be, I know that it resides in you,” he said.
The ACGTDT was first launched in 2005 through the efforts of former Philippine Ambassador to Washington D.C., USA and now Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario. It aims to further promote tourism of the Philippines to other countries.