With the recent Travel Advisory from the United States of America wherein the Secretary of Homeland Security claiming that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) does not maintain and carry out effective aviation security measures, the
Department of Tourism (DOT) believed and expects that there are more visitor arrivals next year from America because the agencies involved to address the security measures concerns brought by the US government at the concerned airport.
In a statement issued by Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal, he clarified that there is no implication on passengers on the said deficiency because, first of all, we are not downgrading services. This is a security aspect. Let’s not mix up security and safety.”
“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) representatives from the US who visited the Philippines to assess security at NAIA has given about 16 recommendations to improve the airport. And out of the 16, the Philippines has already addressed seven issues,” Monreal added.
Meanwhile, DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Development Planning Benito Bengzon Jr. shared the DOT’s target tourists from the US is around 1.2 million.
The DOT official noted that the travel advisory comes at a time when foreign tourists, especially from the US come to the Philippines for the Christmas vacation.
Based on the record, the US is one of the major sources of tourists of the Philippines, and most of them are visitors who are Filipino-Americans, Americans from Filipino descent or Overseas Filipino workers.
Just this year, the visitor arrivals from the US went up by 8.34 percent to 850,735, making it third biggest, followed by South Korea and China, respectively.
While this travel advisory may inevitably affect the influx of the US tourists during this holiday season, agencies involved are already addressing the safety and security in both domestic and international and they are well prepared to assess and respond to any threats for the safety of both local and foreign passengers.
With this TSA report, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instructed airlines issuing passage between the US and Manila to notify their passengers in writing about the TSA findings. “The advisory must be placed prominently at all US airports that provide regular service to the NAIA.”