Philippines E-Newsletter - January 2012

2011 turned out to be a highly eventful year for the Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) London. As the year draws to a close, a quick look back at past issues of your Philippines E-Newsletter (, illustrates that the last twelve months have been very exciting for tourism promotions.

Numerous innovative projects were initiated, promotions were launched in new markets - Turkey, Portugal and the Baltics, an unprecedented number of familiarization trips were organized and a tremendous amount of positive tourism publicity was gained throughout the year.

This persistent drive will hopefully see tourism arrivals to the Philippines reach its highest yet as indicated by statistics for January - October showing the number of visitors to the country is 3,185,866, an 11.96% growth rate compared to 2,845,573 arrivals for the same period in the previous year. (

We would like to thank you all for your continued support in our efforts to promote the Philippines tourism campaign as we come up with new projects and innovations to ensure that 2012 is even better.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!!

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Destination of the Month
  Package of the Month


Major Programs


Philippines Scores Tourism Publicity on December/January Issues of Various Travel Magazines

Positive tourism features on the Philippines appeared on many prestigious trade and consumer magazines in the UK and Spain this month.

The Philippines was chosen as the top destination for volcanoes in ABTA Magazine by Chris Beanland. The country is identified for its 37 volcanoes spread across its islands, with 18 still active. Mt. Pinatubo and Mt. Mayon were specifically highlighted. ABTA Magazine is one of the foremost publications used by the travel industry in the UK with a readership of over 55,000 professionals.

Meanwhile, multiple Philippine packages by leading Spanish dive operators Ultima Frontera and Abando Dive Travel were showcased on Buceadores Magazine. In addition, a report on the successful participation of the PDOT London at the recent Dive Birmingham Show last October was also presented on the magazine.

The lengthiest feature appeared on DIVE magazine in the UK, displaying no-less than 10 pages on the destination. An impressive article on Malapascua by John Nightingale entitled, "Island of Plenty" details all the pelagic and macro offerings of the destination including the enigmatic Thresher Shark.

Altogether, an impressive amount of media mileage was generated to round up 2011.

Book Launch of "Enchanting Philippines" by Nigel Hicks

Renowned UK travel author, Nigel Hicks, along with publisher John Beaufoy, held the international launch of his latest book, "Enchanting Philippines" at the Philippine Embassy in London last 9 December organized by PDOT.

He spent the early part of 2011 in the Philippines visiting the new attractions of Boracay, Iloilo, Cebu, Bohol, Camiguin, Banaue and El Nido which PDOT assisted in organizing. The book explores the UNESCO world heritage sites of the country, its numerous festivals particularly Dinagyang in Iloilo, adventure activities like birdwatching and of course the culture of its people.

"Enchanting Philippines" is Nigel's seventh book on the country after visiting it many times since 1985.

The book will go a long way in promoting the best of the Philippines to enthusiastic travelers wishing to experience adventure, diversity and various cultures.

* pictured along with Nigel is the Philippine Ambassador to the Court of Saint James, H.E. Enrique A. Manalo.

Destination of the Month


Iloilo - In the Heart of the Philippines

With a rich history that dates back to Spanish times and its heritage where the east and west meet, Iloilo is definitely a province that is worth exploring. Not only does it offer its colourful history and culture to travellers, but also its treasure chest is full of natural wonders such as pristine beaches, unspoilt forests, thunderous waterfalls and mysterious caves. Add the warm and friendly disposition of the Ilonggos and you've got one perfect holiday experience.

Whatever time of the year you visit Iloilo, you'll find a packaged programme of events and festivals. Most popular is Dinagyang, which features the beauty and talent of its residents. Colourful costumes and the beating of drums highlight this joyful event, a unique way of honouring their patron saint - the Santo Nino. Held every 4th weekend of January, it is a "must see" celebration.

Iloilo is also known for its food, representing a unique blend of Chinese, Spanish and American flavours. Their dishes speak not only of the Illonggos' cuisine but of their rich culture.

Iloilo is also home to numerous historical churches, parks, ancestral houses and buildings which have been erected during the Spanish era. Most well-known is the Miag-ao Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique Baroque architecture.

Package of the Month


Best of Panay and Negros - Dinagyang Festival

Spend 14 days exploring the Visayas group of islands in the Philippines, including three nights at the Dinagyang Festival and visit the famous Miag-ao Church before travelling to Negros.

Highlights include:
* Three days at the Dinagyang festival where you can dance with the locals.
* Visit the islands of Guimaras and Danjugan.
* Visit the Miag-ao Church, a UNESCO World Hertiage Site
* Visit the heritage houses of Silay City.

* International flights with Qatar Airways
* Full-board accommodation and all local transfers
* Private guides
For more info click here

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