THE local travel agencies expected tourist arrivals to drop at least 10 percent this year following the hostage taking incident that killed eight Hong Kong nationals on Monday.

Philippine Travel Agency Association (PTAA) president Maria Paz Alberto said members of the association confirmed cancellation made by tourists in which many of them cited the incident.

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Alberto added the government should have a major campaign to win back tourists into the country.

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim however said he is optimistic that after months the normal course of tourism industry will return. (Sunnex)