TORONTO, Ontario, Canada – Department of Tourism Secretary (DOT) Wanda Tulfo-Teo said Filipinos await for Canadians to discover how it’s more fun in the Philippines.

Teo made the call during the Philippine Tapestry Gala night held as part of the Mabuhay Philippines Festival last August 22 to 27 during which she also announced the reopening of DOT office in this most populous city in Canada.

“Soon you will get a good glimpse of the Philippines right here when we reopen the DOT-Toronto office to promote our country’s diverse destinations. Surely this will inspire you to take a flight halfway across the world,” said Teo.

Next to the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Canada hosts the largest Filipino community overseas, where Tagalog ranks the sixth most-spoken language in Canada.

Canada is “second home” to over 700,000 Filipinos, the country’s third largest Filipino immigrant group and almost half of whom reside in Toronto while many other Filipinos live in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Calgary.

“This is an opportune time for our kababayans to help spread the word about the good things and positive developments now taking place back home under the leadership of President Duterte. Do find time to visit and bring back along a friend to experience the Filipino hospitality,” said Teo.

She also assured Canadians that the Philippines is not just a beautiful place to have fun but also a place to retire and invest.

Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila Garcia agreed it is the perfect time to reestablish a DOT office in Canada to nurture the growing interest in travelling to the Philippines.

“Canada is a country of immigrants and it recognizes the Filipino’s role in the community. There is a growing curiosity where the Filipinos came from. Also noting that the Philippines as the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia, more Canadian businessmen are also interested in the Philippines,” said Garcia.

During her stay, Teo met with representatives of Canada’s Snowbird Association (CSA), with a 100,000 membership that promote and facilitate travel during Canada’s winter season.

Teo said having Snowbird members spending up to six months in the Philippines can yield higher tourism revenues for Filipino tourism stakeholders.

Teo, along with embassy officials and Susan del Mundo, head of the Tourism Promotions Board domestic tourism promotions, likewise met with the Flight Centre Canada (FCC) and the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) to collaborate in tourism development programs.

With a notable growth rate of 18.41 percent, Canada accounted for 108,243 arrivals placing seventh among the Philippines’ top source markets in the first half of 2017 and turning out as one of the markets with highest daily expenditures.