The US ambassador to the Philippines has apologised for his remark that 40 per cent of male tourists visit the country for sex.
Harry Thomas sent the apology via a text message to Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario on Friday.
The US embassy confirmed Thomas had expressed "deep regret" for his remark.
Last month, Thomas sparked a furore when he said: "Forty per cent of foreign men who come to the Philippines, including from the US, come for sex tourism."
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Officials disputed the claim, complaining that the envoy's remark had hurt the Philippines' image.
The ambassador's claim came amid Philippine Government attempts to revitalise the country's tourism industry, which for years has lagged behind other Asian countries.
The Philippine Government is aiming for tourist arrivals of six million by 2016.