MANILA-- Despite the six-month closure of tourist-raking Boracay, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is optimistic that the country could still meet the 7.4 million international tourist arrivals goal for this year.

"The target will still be the same. We will meet (the target), we will work on it," Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said in an interview with reporters Saturday


Teo said that while Boracay is the first destination that comes into mind when talking about Philippine tourism, its temporary closure does not mean an end to the industry(tourism).

Teo bared that Boracay only attracts some 986,920 tourists, unlike Cebu, which lured 2.2 million international visitors. 

"That's almost 50 percent of our (2017) tourist arrivals, while Boracay is only less than one million,” she said.

DOT continues to push for new and underrated destinations in the country. It also aims to further promote farm and faith tourism sectors

Aside from Coron in Palawan, Bohol and Cebu, Teo said there are other idyllic beaches in Siargao, Samal and Pagudpud.

But apart from beaches, DOT is also positioning the Philippines for sports and adventure tourism with the hosting of Strongest Man, the Iron Man, and other sports-related events. (PNA)