Aside from promoting the country’s commercial tourism attractions, the Department of Tourism may also want to promote the Philippines’ “religious tourism” too.
The suggestion came from Lipa (Batangas) Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, who said the Philippines has many historical shrines and churches that showcase Filipinos’ faith.
“Yung interest ko especially ay hindi yung turismo kundi yung religious tourism na ibig sabihin ang pinupuntahan nila dito ay yung prayerfulness natin,” Arguelles, who chairs the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, said on Church-run Radyo Veritas.
He said the government can also invest in the maintenance and even improvement of some shrines.
“Yung mga shrines dapat pagandahin pa lalo natin yang mga yan,” he said.
On the other hand, Arguelles said the government can also shun other forms of tourism such as casinos, which he said threatens people’s morals.
Besides, he said such establishments may bolster perceptions of the Philippines as a prostitution destination.
Earlier, the DOT said some 500,000 tourists visited the Philippines in the first months of 2016.