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Published on : Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Since the super storm Haiyan struck central parts of the Philippines, PATA HQ, the PATA Recovery Taskforce and the PATA Foundation have:
· Been in contact with local and national tourism officials in the Philippines to offer moral support and check on how we can most effectively offer practical help
· Speedily set up, with the personal intervention of Foundation Chair, Mario Hardy, an online Appeal to raise funds for the Philippines. We encourage all PATA members to make a direct donation here.
· Earmarked US$10,000 (subject to normal approvals), from the PATA Foundation to be contributed to the Philippine disaster relief fund. Each major PATA Chapter is encouraged to raise at least US$1000. The PATA Japan Chapter has already pledged US$1000.
· Received updates from PATA Executive Board member Andrew Jones who is in Cebu reporting regularly to PATA HQ . Useful feedback has also been received from PATA Philippines Chapter Chair Arnaldo ‘Arnie’ Bayag in Manila.
· Briefed media (Asian Wall Street Journal) on the need to maintain business confidence in the Philippine Tourism sector and its essential job creation/economic development role.
Please all note, according to OAG data, the major airports of Manila and Cebu are operating full services and the majority of major tourist destinations have not been impacted.
We simultaneously urge major donor entities such as Governments and international NGOs to continue to give generously and act swiftly to help the resilient Filipino people recover fast. This is, as Philippine President Aquino has made clear, a time of national calamity requiring exceptional recovery efforts.
PATA believes that tourists booked to visit the Philippines should contact their travel agents and pay attention to government travel advisories but continue wherever possible with plans to visit the Philippines.
The best way to help is to donate and keep travelling to boost the Philippine visitor economy. Visit the PATA Foundation and donate funds for the Philippines recovery now
PATA has in recent times (PTM September 2012) been graciously and generously hosted by the Philippine’s Tourism Ministry and industry. It is now pay back time. Friends in need are friends indeed.
PATA stands ready to offer additional help to the Philippines and is in contact with charitable agencies such as AirLink to establish additional tools for recovery.