PHL travel agents withdraw from Taipei tourism expo
Philippine tourism authorities and travel agents have withdrawn from the coming Taipei Tourism Expo, nearly a week after the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters last week.
A report by Taiwan's Central News Agency quoted expo organizers as saying they received a request from the Philippines that their booking of six booths at the event from May 24 to 27 be canceled.
"The reasons they gave were that their participation will not be effective and they do not expect their presence to attract Taiwanese tourists to their country," the organizers said, according to the CNA report posted on TaiwanNews.com.
Organizers said the cancellation may cost the Philippine participants some NT$240,000 (P331,548) in penalties, representing half of the prepaid booth rentals.
Last May 9, a 65-year-old Taiwanese fisherman was shot dead in an encounter with Philippine authorities in disputed waters.
Taiwan had demanded an apology, compensation, an investigation and fishery cooperation talks following the incident.
Citing figures from Taiwan's tourism bureau, the CNA report said some 180,000 Taiwanese visit the Philippines as tourists every year.
This placed Taiwan among the top 10 in terms of foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines.