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News: Dinagyang Festival cited by group as best tourism event - 27 Oct 2007

The Association of Tourism Operators of the Philippines (ATOP) has declared recently that the Dinagyang Festival is the best tourism event in the country.


Tourism Officer Benito Jimena said Iloilo City also held the same title last year.

ATOP also chose Iloilo City’s Paraw Regatta Festival as the third best tourism event in the Philippines.
"We will urge the Tourism Secretary to initiate a Cabinet resolution (for the City of Iloilo be declared as the country’s tourism capital) to substantiate our claim," Jimena said.

Jimena said his office will write the letter to Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, endorsed by Mayor Jerry Treñas and the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

"The declaration would attract more people to visit Iloilo City," said Jimena.
Jimena noted that Dinagyang has sustained the tourists’ interest through all its years of existence.
A public hearing was even held to decide on the skin color of the Dinagyan ati-atihan if it should be ebony black or brown black.

The verdict reached was brown black.

Tourism officials said the different festivals in the country, specially those held annually in the Visayas and Mindanao, are very strong tourist attractions.

The ATOP declared the Dinagyang Festivals the best tourism attraction in the country as it always attracted large groups of tourists, both foreign and local.

The Dinagyan festival next year is expected to be more colorful as tourism has continued to propel the Visayas economy.
Source:  Danny Fajardo, Provincial News, Manila Buletin Online, 27 October 2007

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