“Our thoughts at this difficult moment are with the families and friends of the victims and the government and people of Philippines” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, commenting on the devastating earthquake that hit the country on October 15, 2013.
UNWTO is deeply saddened by the news of the earthquake that took place in Bohol and Cebu, and on behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO conveyed its heartfelt sympathy to the families of the victims and to the government of the Philippines.
“The livelihoods of many people in these destinations depend on the tourism sector, and UNWTO stands ready to support the Philippines in ensuring the tourism in these areas continues to thrive," Rifai added.
UNWTO has transmitted to the government of the Philippines its commitment to support the Department of Tourism and the tourism industry in any tourism-related recovery program to be designed for the affected areas. UNWTO is confident that with the dynamic leadership of the Government of the Philippines, Cebu and Bohol, both important tourism destinations, will soon recover from this tragic occurrence and continue to play their significant role in tourism growth to the country.