Philippines E-Newsletter - April 2012

Tourism to the Philippines breaks records again with the country welcoming over 400,000 visitors for January representing a 20% increase in international tourism arrivals over 2011.

The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) is having an exhilarating time promoting the new "It's More Fun in the Philippines" campaign across European markets over the course of the year.

In Madrid and London, PDOT London had impressive-looking booths reporting highly successful exhibitions at both Dive Shows late last month.

In Italy, Interface Tourism attended the Mappamondo Roadshow in Viterbo, Perugia, Arezzo and Prato from 12-15 March bringing the Philippines Tourism campaign on behalf of the Department to tour operators and travel agents in the region. They will also be promoting the country's underwater attractions at the Scuba Show on 21-22 April with H2O, one of the biggest dive operators in Italy.

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Destination of the Month
  Package of the Month

Major Programs

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PDOT London Brings the FUN at the Dive Shows in Madrid and London

This March, the Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) in London has once again showcased its “FUN” banner during the 4th Dive Travel Show in Madrid, Spain, and the recently concluded London International Dive Show (LIDS) held at the ExCel Exhibition Centre.

The Dive Travel Show in Madrid is the leading fair for diving in Spain and has seen a 30% increase in attendance to 11,000 this year. To complement the growing market for divers, PDOT has also increased its stand from 24sqm to 36sqm and has created a colourful and prominent booth design to attract the consumers with its new branding “It’s more fun in the Philippines”. PDOT was joined by a representative from the Philippine Embassy in Madrid as well as three major tour operators selling the Philippines, namely: Atlantis Dive Resorts, Buceo Filipinas and Jeepney Travel.

The highlight of the show came at the end when Ingrid Reira, one of the show’s organizers, announced that the Philippines is going to be “Guest Country” for the 5th Dive Travel Show on 16-17 March 2013.

Meanwhile, LIDS last 31 March and 1 April saw a huge number of loyal and repeat visitors to the Philippines. Most of these visitors have been to the most popular dive destinations and are seeking new sites such as Sogod Bay, Romblon, Carabao island and the many islets of Cuyo, to name a few.

All of PDOT's co-exhibitors exclaimed successful participation at the Philippines booth: Kasai Village in Moalboal, Cebu, had loads of inquiries on the first day; Ultimate Diving received intense demand for their packages as customers booked immediately the day after the show; Equator Diving ran a competition for a 7-day holiday to Atlantis Resorts in Dumaguete or Puerto Galera which attracted crowds and more than a thousand entries. On the other hand, Mabuhay Philippines Tours and Banca Dive Safari also conducted a competition at the stand for an all-inclusive 7-night dive holiday in Cebu and Bohol.

The successful trade show was complimented by an impressive performance from the 5th Avenue singers composed of young and talented Filipinos under the direction of Mr. Fredric Herrera. They serenaded the consumers and attracted a massive crowd at the Philippine booth during their performances. They also performed at the Open Bar in the dive show. PDOT served Philippine fruit juices like mango, calamansi and pineapple together with crisps and other giveaways like mini ‘banig’ fans, bags and lanyards labelled with the new brand “It’s more fun in the Philippines”.

In both dive shows, the Philippines showed why it’s more fun to dive in the Philippines as the country also emerged as the new pick for long-haul dive destination, value-for-money and diversity. Cebu remains the most popular destination for both Spain and the UK with inquiries and demand for packages running high during both events. Puerto Galera, Palawan and Bohol follow closely with high interests and requests.

View the photo gallery click here

More Tourism Publicity for the Philippines this Season


For the second year running, Boracay is named "Best Beach in Asia" by Trip Advisor's Traveller's Choice Awards (http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Beaches-cDestinations-g2). The recognition draws attention to the other excellent beaches of the island apart from the popular White Beach.

The Philippines also received numerous publicities from different travel and trade publications these past two months within the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.

Travel Bulletin released two editorials on the Philippines in March with a an article was about the $43,000 charity donation of Voyages of Discovery to the House with No Steps (tahanang walang hagdanan) in the Philippines. (http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?referral=other&pnum=&refresh=L1n5b40D81Jz&EID=53d88cfd-928f-4118-b9e6-24c17c92f3e5&skip=)The editorial highlighted the growing cruise market from the UK to the Philippines with more itineraries being added on companies such as Fred Olsen, P&O, Saga, Orion, Voyages of Discovery and Voyages of Antiquity. The second issue included an editorial on PDOT London's record-breaking report on surpassing the 100,000 mark by reaching a total of 104,466 arrivals from the UK in 2011. The article also included bits from the tourist board’s promotional campaigns, joint advertising and other projects. (http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?referral=other&pnum=&refresh=8Dt0g1B92f1R&EID=9421f82b-d802-4737-ba3f-2dcff56fc0b7&skip=)

On ABTA Magazine, there was a full-page Philippines section containing fast facts and special focus on Palawan.

Several Italian magazines also released feature articles on different destinations in the country and one of which is Viaggiando wherein a 12-page feature on the Philippines was written by Davide Scagliola who went to the Philippines a few month back.

This April, Selling Long Haul will be having their annual Philippines feature mentioning new hotels/resorts in Manila and Palawan and a unique cultural tour of Intramuros involving Segways.

Lastly, Ariara Island continues to get heaps of publicity resulting from the media familiarization trips from late last year. Snippets and articles can be seen from illustrious magazines like Angels and Urchins, Harrods Magazine, The Spectator, Wine and Dine, Urbanollogy and Talter, among many others.

PDOT London continues to promote the Philippines in many traditional and creative ways to ensure more publicity and visibility in the coming months.

Exciting Familiarization Trips to the Philippines this Month

Familiarization tours to the Philippines for tour operators, photographers and travel writers continue to be one of PDOT London's institutional programs to generate exposure, create more packages and new tourism materials for the country.

Tony Exall of TXL Video Productions joined PDOT London at DIVE Birmingham last year as part of Savedra Dive Resort. Tony provided the booth with an impressive BluRay HD video of most popular underwater sites in the Philippines. This video has subsequently been shown at numerous dive shows attended by the Department and used for official presentations. Currently, Tony is in the Philippines to capture land footage of famous sites of the Cordilleras like the Banaue Rice Terraces, Batad, Bontok and Sagada. He will also explore the northern treasures of Vigan and Laoag as well as the pristine lake Taal. He will also visit the beautiful Boracay, culture rich Bohol, famous underground river in Puerto Princesa, Palawan and sample the beaches down in Dakak, Northern Zamboanga. He will finish off with visits to the Bicol region.

The videos resulting from this tour will undoubtedly raise the profile of the country by showing its attractions in the best light. Check Tony's initial time-lapse footage of Banaue Rice Terraces posted recently: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150772664542247, while a few images of the Cordillera leg of the trip can be seen here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150770159627247.462555.556302246&type=3

Giordano Cipriani, an Italian underwater photographer will be embarking on an underwater safari from 11 April - 20 May. These photographs will also be used for tourism promotions by the whole Department.

Etihad Airways partnered with PDOT London to take a group of luxury tour operators to the Philippines this April and aims to direct the discerning Italian market to the country by sampling the best of its high-end holidays. Some of the participants includes Viaggi di Maurizio Levi, Aliviaggi, Scirocco Tours, Il Viaggio, Azonzo Travel, Hirondelle and La Repubblica.

Ingrid Reira, director of the Dive Travel Show in Madrid will be going to the country for an ocular inspection of underwater sites, to be featured on Buceadores magazine pocket guide on Philippines diving.

Destination of the Month

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Davao’s Best Attractions


Davao, ranks within the top 5 best cities to live in the Philippines is also the second largest city in the country.
It is blessed with majestic natural landscapes, endemic flora and fauna, fascinating attractions and world class facilities and resorts.

Here’s a list of the ‘must see’ areas:

* The Philippine Eagle Centre – Home to the famous Philippine Eagle also serves as a conservation facility for the largest raptor in the world. It educates visitors on the importance of the national symbol and its habitat.

* Mount Apo National Park – Dubbed as the Philippines' highest peak at 2,954 metres. It has one of the highest land-based biological diversity in terms of flora and fauna per unit area, home to over 272 bird species, 111 of which are endemic.

* Davao's Crocodile Park – Sanctuary to the 700 locally bred crocodiles. It has state-of-the art facilities and observes modern farming practices. The park also caters to other animal species and plants. A fun activity of feeding the crocodile provides an exhilarating experience.

* White Water Rafting - The Davao River draws adventure-seekers from all over to experience a three-hour white water rafting excursion with 30 rapids varying in difficulty from class one up to the extreme class five.

*Pearl Farm Resort – Davao’s most famous resort is located in the Island of Samal. The resort offers five-star facilities and exceptional service. Day trips are also possible to see the beautiful island.

Davao is a place of ideal balance, fast paced yet relaxed, where the luxuries of cosmopolitan city living complement the natural wonders of the great outdoors. It serves as the jump-off point to explore the pristine marvels of Mindanao.

Package of the Month

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Natural Philippines - Mayon Volcano, Whalesharks, Chocolate Hills, & Samal Island Extension in Davao

14 Days / 13 Nights Trip to visit renowned natural attractions and experiences such as the Mayon Volcano, Whalesharks, Manta Rays, Chocolate Hills and Samal Island in Davao.

Legaspi is famous for the Mount Mayon volcano. You can enjoy interacting with magnificent Whale Sharks & Manta Rays at Donsol.

Bohol has beautiful tropical beaches, the amazing Chocolate Hills, the Loboc River, and of course, the Philippines Tarsier - the world's smallest primate.

Samal Island, located just 10 minutes from Davao City offers white beaches, and the famous Hagimit Falls, with its rustling, spectacular display of falling water, natural swimming pools, and unique rock formations.

INCLUSIONS:
All Accommodation
Manila - Bay View Park Hotel - Superior Room
Donsol - Elysia Beach Resort - De Luxe Room
Legaspi - Venetia Horel - Junior Suite
Bohol - Bee Farm, Panglao Island - Honeycomb Suite
Samal - Pearl Farm Resort - Hilltop Room
Daily Breakfast
All Internal Flights
All Airport - Hotel/Resort Transfers
Activities as Detailed in the Itinerary
Local Tax and Service Charge

To view the full itinerary and to inquire click here

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