DOT wishes Pope Francis PHL visit be a ‘fun’ one

January 16, 2015 1:55 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Jan. 15 (PNA) — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday welcomed Pope Francis and asked him to ‘have fun’ during his five-day Apostolic visit in the country.

“Mabuhay, Pope Francis! Have fun!” DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said on his official Twitter account, following the arrival of his Holiness at the Villamor Airbase.

Jimenez also expressed how proud he was of Filipinos for the warm welcome given to the religious leader, which in many ways highlighted their best trait—hospitality.

“(I am) so proud of our people,” Jimenez further said. The DOT chief has many times mentioned in his speeches that among the main reasons to visit the Philippines was to meet its people.

DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito Bengzon Jr. expressed hope that the Pope’s visit inspire Filipinos to be even more united.

“We join the Filipino nation in welcoming His Holiness Pope Francis to the Philippines,” Bengzon said. “May his visit inspire all Filipinos to unite together for the greater good of the country. Mabuhay!”

The Papal Visit is only one among the numerous major events set for Visit the Philippines Year 2015 or VPY2015, the DOT’s event-centric campaign aimed at strengthening the country’s brand image.

VPY2015 is also set to help the department meet its tourism goal of acquiring 10-million tourists by 2016.

Among other events set for VPY2015 include the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

, THE INTERNATIONAL GASTRONOMIC SUMMIT MADRID FUSIÓN, INTERNATIONAL CONCERT ACTS AND SPORTING AND ADVENTURE EVENTS AMONG OTHERS. RMA/ANP

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