JW international convention in Manila boosts tourism, economy
The tourism industry is alive and kicking starting this week following the arrival of some 5,500 foreign delegates from 67 countries and more than 20,000 local tourists from different parts of the country to attend the international convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Nov. 1-3 at the Mall of Asia Arena and SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
Since they arrived last week at the airports in Manila and Clark, Pampanga, the delegates have booked 47 hotels and 55,980 room nights. They are staying in Manila for more than one week to participate in different convention activities in Metro Manila and nearby Laguna, Cavite and Batangas, according to Dean Jacek, national spokesman of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines.
He said the foreign delegates, who are mostly coming to the Philippines for the first time to attend “Love Never Fails” convention, hired 130 buses from three companies so they can tour different sites around Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite and Batangas.
Most of them have booked tickets to Visayas and Mindanao and are planning to stay in the country for several weeks to explore the islands and enjoy the local culture and food, said Jacek.
There are 2,200 delegates who will watch cultural performances each gala night for four nights at the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom, he said.
Jacek said the delegates are coming to the Philippines at their own expense without getting any funds from the religious organization as its members are unpaid volunteers themselves.
Starting last weekend, tourists from Europe, South Africa, Australia, United States and Africa, clad with IDs identifying them as delegates, were seen shopping in Divisoria, SM and Ayala Malls and eating in different restaurants and cafes.
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