Officials in the Philippines have urged tourists not to abandon the country as it comes to terms with the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), an unprecedented category five storm, which struck the country last week.
The storm, which claimed thousands of lives, was the strongest in recorded history to make landfall in the country.
A state of emergency has been declares across much of the country as aid struggles to reach survivors.
However, tourists have been urged to “keep the torch burning” by the ministry of tourism.
The industry accounts for eight per cent of GDP in the Philippines and is likely to play a significant role in rebuilding lives and businesses in communities.
The towns that were severely affected are located in the provinces of Leyte and Eastern Samar, as well as a few places in the Southern Tagalog Region (particularly Coron in Palawan).
A statement from the Philippine department of tourism read: “Our objective is to focus on quick recovery so that tourism income is restored at the soonest possible time.
“Bulletin announcements will be posted via our website, while DOT overseas and regional offices are also on standby to assist potential travellers and those already in the country for travel information.
“Local tour companies are in constant communication with their counterparts abroad to provide updates on the situation.
“The Philippines remains a safe and fun destination for all tourists, notwithstanding this unfortunate incident.
“The DOT assures the travelling public that tourism establishments and tourism activities continue and remain in operation in the other parts of the Philippines, which play host to some of the country’s key tourist destinations.
“The great majority of touristic products are available, whether one is looking for a beach vacation, historical trip, gastronomic tour, or one of the many other possible travel opportunities.”