Philippines E-Newsletter - May 2012

The beginning of May brings positive tourism news on the Philippines. As many may have already seen, Cable News Network (CNN) has set its "Eye On” the Philippines with daily reports on our country's tourism, people, politics, business and culture over a span of one week. The broadcast is on Sky 506 everyday between 6pm to 7pm from 30 April to 04 May 2012.

The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) Manila has chosen a worldwide launch using CNN’s platform to promote its new tourism campaign "It's More Fun in the Philippines” which reaches approximately over 280 million households every hour.

The campaign invites everyone to join the bandwagon and come up with their own versions of why they think it’s more fun in the Philippines. Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said the department only started with 3 versions of the “more fun in the Philippines” creative and now, 4 months after, there are more than 11,000 versions from Filipinos and foreign guests who have participated in the campaign.

Check out the "It's More Fun in the Philippines" 30-second international commercial here:

PDOT London synchronized its advertising campaign together with the CNN’s worldwide launch with its own promotion using the iconic London double-decker buses and the famous London black cabs. The new design features the new logo and the fun faces of the Filipino people, the selling point of the tourism campaign. Meanwhile, PDOT London also celebrated its first ever advertising in the London Underground with two very fitting designs using stairs and underground: the Banaue Rice Terraces with the tag “Stairway to heaven. More fun in the Philippines” and “The Underground. More fun in the Philippines” against a backdrop of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

The London buses and the London Underground advertising can be seen for two weeks in Central London from 30 April until 14 May 2012 while the black cabs will roam the streets of London for one year.

The relentless drive of the Department to embark on numerous creative and effective projects that generate the biggest impact will hopefully reach its target of 4.6 million international tourist arrivals by the end of the year. International tourism arrival figures from January to March this year are promising. UK registered a whopping 38% growth rate for the month of March. The aggregate increase for the first three months of the year is 21.42% posting a record of 31,700 visitors. The total visitor arrivals to the Philippines have already reached 1.1 million for the first quarter. You can download the tourism arrival statistics on our website's Press Centre Page.

Let’s all spread the “FUN”. Like our facebook page today and join the 16,000 others who has seen and shared our photos!

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Destination of the Month
  Package of the Month

Major Programs


The Philippines is getting down…down the Underground!

Yes, you heard that right! The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) in London has gone down!…to the Underground! This momentous occasion was celebrated by the PDOT with a FUN bus ride around central London on the first day of May. The double decker bus sported the new designs of the Philippines tourist board with a huge “IT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPINES” written on it. The London cab with the same livery was also present for the photo shoot with the Philippine Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo and the PDOT London led by Ms. Chit Afuang.

The bus was filled with guests from the travel trade, media, officers of the Embassy of the Philippines, PDOT team and Lahing Kayumanggi (Brown Race) Dance Company wearing beautiful Filipiñana gowns and Filipino Barong who also provided the entertainment on the go. PDOT staff also conducted fun games, gave away lots of prizes and serenaded everyone during the thirty-five minute joyride. The Philippines double decker bus went around Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the Strand, Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Regent Street and then back to Piccadilly. “Everyone had a blast during the bus ride as we asked people to sing, wave their fun flags and participate in the games while we give away prizes,” exclaimed Ms. Afuang of PDOT London. Onlookers were delighted to watch the hullabaloo and laughter happening in the bus as it went around the full streets of Central London. The whole entourage led by PDOT staff also went down at Oxford Circus to give away bracelets and other treats to shoppers who were very happy to receive such surprises!

Reymund Enteria and Steven Cheung, two Filipinos Olympic Torch bearers also joined the fun bus ride with other guests.

The event ended at the Embassy of the Philippines in Piccadilly with a short video presentation and flowing cocktails. Ambassador Manalo welcomed everyone before another batch of fun and surprises unfolded. “This is just a sample of what you will experience when you visit our country. A culture of FUN, beauty and excitement await every visitor. With 7,107 islands, guests are sure to find islands that will suit their adventure. And with more than 90 million hosts, you are definitely going to have more fun in the Philippines,” said Ambassador Manalo.

The UK is a very important market for the Philippines as it ranks 1st in Europe in number of tourist arrivals to our country, and 10th overall. It is a growing and expanding market, with over 100,000 British tourists travelling to the Philippines in 2011 alone – an all-time high.

Now, the PDOT has set its eyes on higher goals, therefore will be more aggressive with its marketing and promotional campaigns. Previously, we have seen the Philippine eagle land on the panels of the London buses while the London Cabs transported many to the beautiful beaches, underwater and mountains of the Philippines. Now, we will see the different smiling and welcoming people of this beautiful country grace the cover of the buses and taxis. Meanwhile, the Philippine version of the Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, a title holder as one of the new 7 wonders of nature award, adorns the London Underground; reminding people that being in the “underground” can be so much fun…in the Philippines!

“I was impressed with the energy of the Filipinos during the short motorcade,” expressed Simon Beck of Orbital Communications. Iain Webb of Fulham Football Club seconded as saying, “the most ‘fun’ time I ever had on board a London bus!”

This advertising hype in the UK is a synchronized effort with PDOT Manila as they launch a worldwide advertising campaign with CNN International that broke on 30 April. The UK publicity with the London cabs will stay to capture the millions of visitors attending the Queen’s Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics.

PDOT London office is in charge of promoting the Philippines to the UK market as well as 15 other countries in North and South Europe including the Baltic region, Israel and Turkey.

Joint-Promotional Activities with Philippine Embassies in Italy, Spain and Scandinavia

PDOT London works closely with Philippine Embassies in its areas of jurisdiction on joint-promotional activities to propagate tourism to the country.

Last 28 April, PDOT London representative Chit Afuang met with Philippine Ambassador Virgilio Reyes in Rome to report on the recently concluded tourism projects for the Italian market. The list includes the roadshow with Mappamondo, Scuba Show with H2O and familiarization trips with Hotelplan and Etihad group for the high end segment along with other future famtrips. The Embassy will be conducting a Filipino Food Promotion event entitled “Kulinarya, Images and Flavours of the Philippines” on 13-19 June at the Westin Exelsior in Rome. These exciting events will commemorate the 65th year anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Italy and the Philippines.

In Spain, PDOT London together with the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, the Philippine Consulate in Barcelona and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will be giving a presentation on tourism and culture of the country to selected Spanish travel tour operators and agents on 8 and 10 May, respectively.

The Philippine Embassy in Stockholm will hold their National Celebration activities on 15-16 June. PDOT London supports the event by supplying numerous promotional materials, giveaways, information packs and roll-ups.

Destination of the Month


El Nido, Palawan

Situated in spectacular Bacuit Bay, this corner of Palawan is reputed to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is a popular nature spot that boasts of extraordinary natural splendour and ecosystem that works in harmony with each other. Here you will see majestic karst limestone cliffs, rainforests, mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs and limestone cliffs, among others. Visitors may even dive amongst the rare aquatic mammal, the Dugong.

Incidentally, El Nido is also ranked by CNNGo's website as the country's best beach. El Nido has further gained popularity in the international television reality show “The Amazing Race” and will be seen at the upcoming film “The Bourne Legacy.”

Package of the Month


Island Life in the Philippines

12 nights to experience Manila, Bohol and Palawan

Black Tomato is offering a multi-centred holiday to the Philippines with visits to Manila, Bohol and Palawan. The all-inclusive holiday package allows travellers to immediately see metropolitan Manila upon arriving at the capital where they will be staying at the luxurious Peninsula Hotel in Makati.

In Bohol, explore the aptly named Chocolate Hills, an impressive range of 1,268 hills that resemble the famous Hershey’s chocolate kisses during the dry season. Lunch will be served at the romantic Loboc River surrounded by tropical rain-forests. The island bolthole for the next two nights will be the Amorita Resort, nestled atop a seaside cliff with a 180 degree view of the Bohol Sea.

In true Black Tomato style, one will get to experience the landscape of Corella on the back of a motorbike, a region blessed with lush greenery, hills and secret waterfalls. There will also be personal encounters with the enigmatic Tarsiers in their natural habitat. Top this all with an island tour of Panglao and an early wake up call for a spot of whale and dolphin watching.

After the stint in Bohol, the next stop is the paradise of Palawan. The first day will be in the city of Puerto Princesa, where a bustling and vibrant town meets blissful nature. One will get to experience the Firefly tour in Iwahig River and the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Sabang, one of the New7Wonders of Nature. Accommodation will be at Hotel Centro in Puerto Princesa and Daluyon Resort at Sabang Beach.

Next on the itinerary is an encounter with the indigenous Batak mountain tribe who have been residing there for centuries. It is a terrific insight into authentic Filipino culture.

The last leg of the journey is Lagen Island in El Nido for a finale with a bang. Much has been written about the beauty and peacefulness of this place, where thatched hideaway accommodation is nestled between a lush four-hectare forest and a calm, shallow lagoon. Shrouded by looming limestone cliffs you can take the jungle by exploring the flora and fauna or simply relax on the beaches. A sublime end to your Philippines beach holiday.
For more info click here

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