Philippines E-Newsletter - September 2011

The start of the autumn season is certainly a thrilling time for the Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) London. Right after a successful exhibition at the recently concluded British Birdwatching Fair, PDOT London is presently engaged with events including the Philippines Travel Exchange (PHITEX) and planning familiarization tours for writers and filmmakers set to visit in the coming months.

Around 200 buyers from top tour operators worldwide are currently in the country for PHITEX, the largest business-to-business event for the industry. Audley Travel, Black Tomato, Chameleon Worldwide, Oonas Divers and Premier Holidays are the companies represented from the UK, while Asia Holidays, Lombard Gate, Miratour, Promoworld, Scuba Tour and Travel Salon are joining from Italy along with Swedish operators Indcen Resor and Overseas Travel.

The Philippines will be once again be a part of the next Taste of PATA event scheduled on 14 September at Borough Market in London.

We would also like to announce that the Honourable Ramon Jimenez Jr. was recently appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as new Secretary for the Department of Tourism.

In this issue:

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

Major Programs


Philippines Flies High at the 2011 British Birdwatching Fair

Indeed, the successful participation of the Philippines in the Birdfair signifies yet another remarkable feat. Many people visited the stand and are awed by the pictures of birds and the reality of Philippine endemism. Visitors could not believe that the Philippines is blessed with 243 endemic species, especially compared to the UK that only has one endemic bird. In the course of the three-day event, the Philippine stand sparked immense interest from the visitors. There have been a lot of inquiries about birdwatching packages in the Philippines, and a lot of queries regarding technical birdwatching have also been raised. These were satisfactorily addressed by supportive birdwatching experts, namely: Desmond Allen, Allie Parish, Godfrey Jakosalem, and JC Gonzales who assisted at the stand.

Every year, Birdfair provides an excellent venue for the Philippines to promote its birding and wildlife offerings to all nature enthusiasts. The demand from birdwatchers is growing year by year as evident by the bird tour operators already featuring the country in their packages. More independent tours are also lined up, based on the number of inquiries received from individuals and groups looking for local guides and handlers who could assist them.

Read the full press release click here

PHITEX 2011 in Full Swing

Now on its 11th year, PHITEX remains one of the institutional programs on the Department's calendar. It enables the country to showcase its natural wonders, unique services and development headways gained to the global market.

Educational seminars were held at the SMX Convention Centre on 31st August to inform sellers of current international tourism trends. Arne Sundt-Bjerck of ASB Consult Norway gave an insightful seminar titled "How to succeed in the Scandinavian market" discussing key strategies to best capture the lucrative region.

All foreign buyers have conducted highly productive one-on-one meetings with targeted sellers during the Travex last 01 September establishing new business partnerships or strengthen existing ones.

Buyers from PDOT London markets are currently experiencing first-hand the country's top tourist attractions. Specialized post-tours to new destinations for PHITEX take buyers to Davao, Puerto Galera, Taytay, El Nido, Ilocos and Dumaguete, while mainstream ones like Boracay, Cebu, Bohol and Puerto Princesa are on offer.

Foreign travel operators will no doubt take the best of the Philippines' Brand to sell to their eager clientele in their home countries.

Destination of the Month


Apo Island and Siquijor

Apo Island is a volcanic island located just seven kilometres south of Negros which has become a highly rated dive destination in recent years. The surrounding waters of the island, designated a marine reserve, has over 650 species of fish with over 400 species of coral.

Siquijor on the other hand is located only 45-minutes by ferry from Dumaguete. It is known as the Island of Fire, so named by the Spanish centuries ago as it seemed to glow from a distance.

The island is lined by white-sand beaches, many of them virgin and unexplored. Its waters are teeming with coral reefs with excellent macro life beckoning to all levels of underwater explorers. And the immediate inland hills and mountains give the traveller a chance to go on a challenging hiking or biking adventure.

Siquijor curiously, is also widely know to for its stories of magic, superstition and the occult attracting more and more adventurous travellers to its shores.

Package of the Month


Visayas Uncovered with Audley Travel

16 days - exploring the Philippines including time in Manila and a tour covering the highlights of the Visayas with time on the beach to relax and enjoy the wonderful snorkelling opportunities.

Highlights of this itinerary:

- Snorkelling at Apo island.
- Visiting the university town of Dumaguete.
- Time on Siquijor, an island famed for its witchcraft, but also a beautiful spot for diving and snorkelling and relaxing on the beach.
- A chance to see the tarsier monkeys on Bohol.
- A visit to the chocolate hills of Bohol.
- All-inclusive package covering international and domestic flights, accommodation and transfers.
- 100% Tailor-made: Your entire holiday is designed around your requirements. Explore your interests at your own speed.
Select your preferred style of accommodation.
For more info click here

DOT News


President Aquino Names Ramon Jimenez Jr. as New Philippines Department of Tourism Chief

President Benigno Aquino III has named an advertising executive as the new tourism secretary.

Mr. Aquino made the announcement Wednesday night just as the former Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim’s resignation took effect on August 31.

“Mon Jimenez has accepted the position. He’s a marketing, advertising guy and, you know, tourism, I think is primarily a marketing effort because the product is already there,” Mr. Aquino told reporters in an informal talk after a hectic day here on Wednesday.

“There is enhancing the product that we have in the Philippines and, at the end of the day, he will be informing a lot of the citizens of the world that there are such and such sites accessible, and it should be visited,” the President said.

“That will be something that he will do. He’s studying for the post, roughly about a week or so, about two weeks,” he added.
Aquino said days earlier that he had chosen Lim’s replacement but withheld his identity.

Jimenez’s name came up as a possible next tourism secretary when reports of Lim’s resignation were posted on the Internet.
Aquino said Jimenez asked that his appointment not be announced before Lim’s resignation took effect.

“He was studying things during the time that we weren’t speaking. We couldn’t see each other often. That would be like saying, ‘This is the next tourism secretary. Ask him questions left and right and don’t give him time for himself anymore’,” President Aquino said.

Aquino said he would meet with Jimenez when he returns to the Philippines following his state visit here.

“I want to see him by next week and I assume there will be things that he has discovered, things he wants done,” he added.

The President said “the last communication” he had with Jimenez “was basically when he was assessing those that he would be working with and to a large extent I think he would be, for the meantime, maintaining the bureaucracy at the DOT.”

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Account Information
To unsubscribe to News@Philippines, please send an e-mail to with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

Newsletter Archives
To read back issues of News@Philippines, please click here.

Copyright © 2006 Philippines. All rights reserved.

Submit Advertisement