Philippines E-Newsletter

Diving has always been a cornerstone of Philippine promotional activities in Europe. This month, PDOT London participates in the Dive Travel Show in Madrid on 6 March and the London International Dive Show on 27-28 March. PDOT is also gearing up for its participation in the DIVE Show Birmingham later this year.

Simultaneously, PDOT continues to organize, execute and assist in numerous familiarization trips for dive/tour operators, travel writers and photographers wishing to learn more about the Philippines' tourism potentials.

Also this month, we are launching our new partnership with Memory4Teachers, wherein PDOT targets the UK education sector as its primary market for learning-based Philippine tourism. It is yet another innovative approach to marketing the Philippines as an ideal vacation hotspot for the UK travelling public.

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Destination of the Month
  Package of the Month
  DOT News

Major Programs


2º Dive Travel Show (Madrid, Spain - 6 March)

Immediately after PDOT's successful participation in the Feria Internacional de Turismo last January, the Philippines will again promote itself at the Dive Travel Show in Madrid on 06 March. This is a vital event where dive operators and tourist boards are provided a venue for direct selling and promotions to the Spanish diving consumer.

The Philippines is enthusiastic about its business prospects during the show. Aside from being the only Asian diving destination represented, its participation is greatly supported by dive packages offered by Spanish tour operators such as CATAI Tours, Mundoexplora, Solplan Buceo, Viajes Iberia and Ultima Frontera.

The Philippines' image as an exciting, multi-faceted travel destination has been growing steadily in Spain, with a huge potential market for thousands of Spanish tourists visiting the only Asian country with a rich Iberian heritage.

London International Dive Show (London, UK - 27-28 March)

Excel, London

PDOT has uninterruptedly participated in the annual London International Dive Show (LIDS) at ExCeL over the past five years. Participation has continued to grow in terms of booth size and private sector participants, and even the location of the Philippines' booth has improved from middle- to front-row status.

PDOT will be joined at the stand by its tour operator and resort partners comprised of Skylord Travel, Cruise and Island Adventure / Expedition Fleet, Atlantis Dive Resorts, Marco Vincent Dive Resort and Kasai Village Beach Resort. They will all be all enthusiastically showcasing their best “show offers” to UK divers.

Familiarization Trips

Since the start of the year, PDOT has conducted familiarization trips to raise awareness of the Philippines as a truly world-class destination. We are pleased to report site-inspection visits that have been completed, are ongoing or are soon to be implemented by PDOT and its various partners:

04 - 28 Feb - Ultima Frontera inspection trip conducted in various dives sites across the Philippines such as Puerto Galera, Dumaguete and Moalboal, among others.

18 Feb - 01 Mar - BBC World TV are creating a travel feature on the Philippines showcasing sites such as El Nido, Cebu, Siquijor, Bohol and Manila.

18 Feb - 04 Mar - Lakbay Asia - UK is a group of around 50 pilgrims composed of Irish, Scottish, Italian and Filipinos visiting religious sites in the Philippines, particularly Tagum to see the biggest rosary in the world.

26 Feb - 14 Mar - Tony Backhurst and John Bantin are in the Philippines to do a thorough inspection and filming of numerous dive sites in the country. They will also be going onboard a liveaboard experience aboard Abyssworld.

16 Feb - 13 Mar - Chris Collins, a British ornithologist organizing tours on behalf of Heritage Expeditions, is currently conducting extensive research in far-flung birding sites such as Polilio Island, Bulusan Lake, Virac, Tablas and Siargao, to name a few.

02 - 10 Mar - Photojournalists Mark Stratton, who writes for prestigious magazines and newspapers like Wanderlust Adventure Magazine, CNN Traveller, World Travel Guide and The Independent Daily Newspaper is back in the Philippines to conduct extensive research on the Spanish heritage town of Vigan.

05 - 25 Mar - Graeme Greene, another photojournalist and travel editor for national publications including Metro, Sunday Herald, The Sun, The Times and The New Stateman will be going on an extensive excursion of the country covering both overland and underwater adventures including Banaue, Sagada, Malapscua, Donsol and Legaspi.

27 Mar - 14 Apr - Michael Arditti, renowned novelist and travel writer commissioned by the Sunday Express and writing a religious novel set in the Philippines, will have an itinerary covering destinations as far north as Banaue and as deep south as Lake Sebu.

11 - 21 Apr - Resulting from PDOT's participation at FITUR, Ediciones T&A will send a travel writer and photographer to produce stories and images on Banaue, Palawan and Manila.

01 - 15 May - The Irish Times is set to send its travel writer to feature popular destinations such as Boracay, Cebu and Bohol in cooperation with Etihad Airways.

Internet Promotions

Website Developments

Our WOWPhilippines Website now sports new upgrades to bring more usability and functionality to our online consumers.

We have recently added the translate tool chiefly suited for our European markets. This immediately enhances the Italian Offers page where users can select their ideal Philippine holiday from top tour operators such as Kuoni, ScubaTour, IntoAsia, Asia Holidays, Original Trek, Go Asia and Etnia Viaggi, to name a few.

New to our Hotels and Resorts Page are Special Offers links to promotions by our partner properties ranging from restaurant perks to room and suite offers.

Later this month, watch out for two new additions to our website - a brand new Dive Page right in time for LIDS and a Testimonials page where recent visitors to the Philippines can drop their comments and images about their trip in exchange for cool prizes!
For more info click here

Joint Promotional Campaign with Memory4Teachers

As part of our ever widening Online Promotions Campaign, the Philippines Department of Tourism is pleased to support Memory4Teachers to inspire both teachers and students to learn more about the Philippines.

Memory4Teachers is a major ICT initiative providing the teaching industry with free USB memory sticks featuring a customized interface containing various software applications and educational resources.

This innovative interface serves as a platform that enables teachers expedient access to a vast amount of educational content that can be used effectively in their daily endeavours. Through this campaign, teachers have an efficient medium where they can gain awareness and impart information on the different cultural and natural attractions of the Philippines.

As the only Asian national tourism organization involved in this five-year campaign, DOT London takes pride in its efforts to communicate directly with the education sector as part of its internet strategy to promote a the Philippines as a learning experience for teachers and students alike.

Watch this space.

Destination of the Month


Wrecks of Coron

The Calamianes group of islands in Palawan offers a plethora of activities for the adventure hungry visitor, ranging from hiking, rappelling, snorkeling, archeological exploration, kayaking/rafting, sport fishing, beach hopping, tribal encounters and of course diving.

The islands' claim to fame are the world-famous Coron Wrecks, which are mostly found in varying depths within Coron Bay. During World War II, the area served as a secure anchorage for the Japanese Fleet. But on 24 September 1944, a US Navy strike force of fighters and dive-bombers attacked the Japanese supply fleet of up to 24 ships. This resulted in one of the most spectacular diving sites in the world.

The size of these wrecks range from 25 metres long Japanese gunboats to the huge 168 metre long tankers such as the Okikawa Maru. The wrecks cater to all levels of diving with some even visible at snorkelling depths of 5 metres while advanced divers can conduct extensive infiltration inside the ships at 20-40 metres deep.

For more info click here

Package of the Month


Boracay to the Wrecks of Coron via Apo Reef

Dives around Boracay and Carabao Islands include Yapak where sightings of Grey Reef Sharks, Whitetip Reef Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Manta Rays and Eagle Rays are all possible. Maniquin Island is a truly wonderful dive location and caters to all divers whether into large pelagic such as shark and Manta Rays or soft and hard corals, and fish life of all types. Apo Reef a UNESCO world heritage site is by many considered among the best diving in the Philippines. The whole North East side of Apo Reef consists of drop off's and overhangs where Whitetip and Grey Reef Sharks, turtles, barracuda and shoals of snapper are common. There is a turtle sanctuary on Apo island. The Japanese World War II wrecks around Busuanga Island, particularly in Coron Bay, have been one of the Philippine diving best kept secrets. Twelve wrecks have so far been located in diveable depths and we shall dive many of them.

* International Airfare and Domestic Airfare to Boracay Not Included
* Fly to Borocay via Kalibo or Caiclan from the Manila Domestic Airport with Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines. From Kalibo Airport you need to catch a bus (right outside the airport) to the pier in Caticlan which takes approx 1.5 hours. Pacific Air and Asian Spirit fly direct to Caticlan Airport which is a 15 minute drive to the pier. From the pier you take a ferry taking 30 mins over to Borocay.
* Full meals, Dives and Equipment are included as standard

inquire now click here

DOT News


British Members of Parliament Hail RP’s Top Bird Sites

In December 2009, the Department of Tourism (DoT) welcomed MPs the Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clarke QC, Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Hon. Mark Pritchard MP, Chairperson of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and hosted both guests to a bird-watching tour of Subic and Candaba Marsh. Messrs. Clarke and Pritchard were in the Philippines to conduct official meetings with Philippine counterparts, but took one day off their busy schedule to enjoy the natural blessings that the Philippines possesses.

Bird-watching has become the fastest growing outdoor activity in the United Kingdom and North America and a number of the most sought-after species can be found in the Philippines. PDOT works hand-in-hand with various partners to project the Philippines not only as a bird-watching destination, but as a champion for the protection of the environment.

Meanwhile, David and Denise Robinson, prizewinners from our joint competition with Birdwatching Magazine last Birdfair 2009 have recently returned from their tour and reported the following:

"We had a fantastic holiday and would like to thank you all... for your warm hospitality and for arranging such a fascinating tour. The programme was perfect for us. We enjoyed the birding very much, and Adrian proved to be an excellent guide and wonderful companion throughout our stay. We were also particularly interested in the history, culture and food of the Philippines... We thought that Manila in particular was a magnificent city... All the accommodation we stayed in was well chosen... All the beach resorts were in great locations. We also particularly enjoyed the tour of the Butterfly garden... and it was a treat to see the tarsiers close up of the highlights of the tour was the Subterranean river excursion and we will certainly vote for it as a candidate for the "seven wonders". We identified over 100 species of birds - the vast majority were new to us."
For more info click here

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