Philippines E-Newsletter - March 2012

The Philippines continues to ride a wave of positive publicity recently being named as "Asia's Friendliest Nation" by HSBC. A BBC feature also highlighted the country's new campaign, "It's More Fun in the Philippines". Numerous articles also appeared on various broadsheets and magazines including: a 5-page write-up on whaleshark spotting by Jeremy Cuff on Sport Diver, a 4-page piece on El Nido by Kicki Lind in the Gothenburg Post and a study on Philippine Tarsiers on the Wired Science Magazine Online.

This month, the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) London will be participating at four events across Europe to promote diving and further establish partnerships with the travel trade. PDOT London will have booths at Travelmatch and Reiseliv in Oslo, Dive Travel Show in Madrid, PATA Exchange and the London International Dive Show in London.

PDOT London will also be supporting the London Philippine Fashion Show http://www.prosperoworld.org/fashionshow/ by Prospero World in Aid of the Ayala Foundation on 8 March. Up for grabs is the grand prize auction, a luxury holiday for two to Palawan and Bohol.

In other news, join our revamped Facebook Fan Page bearing the new campaign at: http://www.facebook.com/ItsMoreFunPhilippines where we will be keeping you updated on the latest tourism news and developments in the country.

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Destination of the Month
  Package of the Month

Major Programs

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Partnerships established with the Travel Trade at TravelMatch and Reiseliv

The Philippines had a successful participation at the inaugural Travelmatch event at the Oslo Spektrum last 1 March. PDOT London was able to conduct 14 sales calls with tour operators, airlines and selected media representatives. Points of discussions covered incorporation of the country in their 2013 programmes and collaboration on marketing initiatives.

From 2-4 March, PDOT had a counter-top booth together with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Chapter in Reiseliv. The Scandinavian crowd at Norway's biggest travel event was eager to look for new long-haul destinations and the Philippines was high on their list of places to visit next.

PDOT was also assisted by members of the Philippine Embassy in Oslo. A special performance by Filipino community was arranged on 3 March at Reiseliv. They were able to showcase their skills in folk dancing and OPM singing to the delight of the audience.

Join us for the upcoming PATA Exchange

London, UK - (12 March)


PDOT will once again be present at this year's PATA Exchange taking place at the historic Landsdowne Club, 9 Fitzmaurice Place, London W1J 5JD on 12 March.

The event continues to be a significant venue for the Philippines to strengthen existing partnerships with the travel trade. Joint-promotional activities and plans are discussed and planned for the year from familiarization trips to competitions and many more. Mainstream tour operators with packages to Asia will also be encouraged to commence their Philippines programmes. PDOT London will also utilise the event to shortlist/invite prospective buyers to the PATA Travel Mart in Manila later this year.

Meetings are already pre-booked with Cox & Kings, Dive in Style, Travel Nation, Original Travel and Sunset Faraway Holidays, etc.

Get Set for the Dive Travel Show

It is the biggest dive fair in Madrid and is quickly becoming the most important in Spain for the industry. Only on its 4th year, the Dive Travel Show has grown exponentially in size and number of exhibitors.

Expected exhibitors are the top names in the market, with over 9 operators selling dive trips to the Philippines. Abando Dive, Viajes Iberia, Sub Explor, XD Travel, Blue Planet, Viaje Buceo, Worldwide Dive and Sail, Xtrem Travel and Ultima Frontera will all be pushing their Philippine packages.

PDOT London's participation will be supported by representatives of the Philippine Embassy, Atlantis Dive Resorts, Asia Holidays and Buceo Filipinas.

Gear Up for the London International Dive Show

London, UK - 31 March - 1 April


Divers from all over the UK will be coming down to London to check out the special offers available at LIDS, whether shopping for the latest gear or booking their next dive holidays.

PDOT will have numerous FUN activities planned for LIDS ensuring that the Philippines will once again garner massive crowd interest. There will be live performances by the Manila Showstoppers at the stand. Various Philippine food products will be distributed during the fair to give prospective holiday makers a preview of their upcoming visit to the archipelago. Visitors will also be able to participate in raffle draw competitions with prizes ranging from native chandeliers to an all-inclusive dive safari to the Philippines.

Hotelplan Reports Successful Visit to the Philippines

Last month, 28 travel agents from top Italian travel company Hotelplan embarked on a fact-finding mission to the Philippines to gain first-hand knowledge of the destination.

The eight-day visit enabled them to see the facilities and attractions of Manila, Cebu, Bohol and Boracay. They reported delight and appreciation for the historic Manila Hotel, fantastic views of the Chocolate Hills, the interesting tarsier and unparalleled beauty of Boracay.

The familiarization tour was organized and supported by PDOT London, Intas Destinations, Interface Tourism and Singapore Airlines. After seeing what the country can offer, fam tour instilled in agents enthusiasm in selling holiday packages to the Philippines.

Destination of the Month

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Whalesharks of Oslob


The whalesharks of Oslob, have been gaining incredible publicity in the past few months, appearing on many articles worldwide like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2077526/Fishermen-feeding-shrimp-giant-whale-sharks-HAND.html and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthpicturegalleries/9002157/Whale-sharks-feeding-from-the-hands-of-fishermen-in-the-Philippines.html

These magnificent creatures have developed a special bond with the fishermen who have been in the practice of feeding them krill for decades.

The spectacular phenomenon has only been recently developed as a tourism attraction with local government bodies establishing guidelines to protect the welfare of fishermen and the whalesharks.
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For more info click here

Package of the Month

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Swimming with Oslob's Whale Sharks

The Philippine's Ultimate Whale Shark Encounter!

Stay at Atlantis Dumaguete Resort and experience the ultimate whale shark encounter at Oslob, plus macro magic at Dauin Marine Sanctuary, and beautiful coral walls at Apo Island, Siquijor Island & Sumilon Island!

The Whale Sharks of Oslob, similar to those of Cendrawasih Bay in Indonesia, exhibit a unique relationship with the local fishermen. This relationship has, however, only recently come to light in the outside world and of course it is causing quite a stir.

When you first arrive at Oslob you will see the fishermen on their small wooden banca boats and if you look more closely you will likely see a tail fin or two. At this point you realise it is true and that you are indeed about to have a very close and extremely intimate encounter with one or more likely five or six whale sharks. Most people snorkel with the whale sharks and they will literally pass within inches of you again and again. There is no need to swim after them, just wait in the right position and let them come to you. We spent a couple of hours in the water with them and only came out because we were exhausted from the excitement!

Image by Alex Tyrrell and Equator Diving

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