Philippines Tourism E-Newsletter - January 2013

2012 was a banner year for the Philippines, which saw a dramatic rise in visitors to the country coupled with a robust economic growth. From January to November last year, there were 3,830,723 visitors compared with 3,522,887 for the same period in 2011, representing an increase of 8.73%. The economy is expected to have grown between 6-7% last year, one of the highest in the world. Consequently, the Philippines is the only country which the IMF upgraded its growth forecast.

Worldwide attention and interest for the Philippines as a top travel destination continues to build with notable online and print travel brands highlighting the country as THE choice destination for 2013.

Developments in route building for the country include UK Minister Hugo Swire's visit last year where he announced new bilateral air service agreement between his government and the Philippines. He also mentioned that the UK will assist the Philippines in getting the EU ban lifted on local airlines boosting tourism and trade relationship between the two countries.

With all this encouraging momentum, 2013 is set to be another milestone year for Philippines tourism. With more ambitious targets in tourism arrivals this year, the Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) is now looking to develop new market segments to encourage new breeds of travellers to visit the country.

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Festival of the Month
  More Fun News

Major Programs


Fun Positive Publicity for the Philippines

The Philippines is now being recognized the world over as a top tourism destination following relentless promotions under the "It's More Fun in the Philippines campaign."

With the year barely beginning, leading UK travel brand, Conde Nast Traveller lists the Philippines as the leading "destination to watch" this 2013. It includes numerous attractions in the country such as Palawan for its biodiversity and landscape as well as Bicol for the whalesharks. Places to stay include favourites like Amanpulo in Palawan, new properties - Dedon Island in Siargao and the Fairmont Raffles in Manila. The article finishes nicely with a quote, "Sorry, Maldives... We love you, but we've got a new flame".

Read the full article:

A few days after the Conde Nast nod, US travel publication Travel + Leisure magazine lists the Philippines as one of its 13 for 2013 destinations. Properties mentioned are Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa in Bohol, El Nido's Pangalusian Island and Ariara (rent your own island) in Palawan.

On UK's MSN website, the Chocolate Hills in Bohol comes first on the list in MSN UK's places to visit this 2013.

Next, Metro Newspaper and the Telegraph, two of the most widely read broadsheets in London, published a one-of-a-kind underwater photoshoot in the Philippines. The fashion showcase conducted by US photographers Shawn Heinrichs and Kristian Schidt displays models Hannah Fraser and Roberta Mancino free-diving with 9-metre whalesharks. The models wearing designer outfits, pose gracefully with the world's largest fish.

This week, the New York Times pinpoints the Philippines as part of its "46 places to go in 2013". In particular, Dedon Island in Siargao for its proximity to one of the world’s best surf breaks, Cloud 9 and El Nido Pangulasian in Palawan, listed as a UNESCO biosphere were noted.

Read more:

All these constant positive publicity for the country's unique offerings by prestigious brands continue to strengthen the Philippines' image as one of the world's best travel destinations.

* Image source - Telegraph UK

See the amazing images of models striking poses with the world's largest fish click here

Tourism Promotions in Scandinavia

This January sees PDOT increasing trade and consumer promotions in Scandinavia for the Norwegian and Danish markets.

In Oslo, the Philippines joined the Travelmatch B2B event held last 10 January in Oslo Kongressenter. PDOT conducted over a dozen sales calls with selected tour operators, airlines and media representatives. Companies include PATA Norway, Hibiscus Reiser, Din Reispartner, Noble Tours, Ispiratour, Escape Travel, OrkidéEkspressen and Benny Travel. The main objective was for incorporation of the Philippines in their future business offerings.

In Demark, PDOT will be attending the inaugural Ferie i Fritid at the Bella Center in Copenhagen in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Oslo. The event will serve as a platform to showcase the country's products and services to a wide range to travel consumers. This year, the show features special fairs within the event: the Copenhagen Dive Show, Golf i Bella and Camping i Bella, opening up new target market segments for the Philippines in this part of the world.

Photo caption: Daks Gonzales, Marketing Manager, DOT-FRA & Fabian Stang Mayor, City of Oslo during the the networking cocktail reception at the City Hall, Oslo, Norway during Travelmatch 2013.

Festival of the Month


Sinulog Festival, Cebu

For those heading to Cebu before the end of the month, the biggest attraction at the time is the Sinulog Festival, one of the grandest and oldest of its kind in the nation.

The festival is held in honour of the image of Santo Nino, a gift to the Queen of Cebu from navigator Ferdinand Magellan, who landed on the island in 1521. Masses, procession, dancing and parades mark the weeklong event.

The festival features some the country's most colourful displays of ceremony and pageantry: participants clothe in bright-coloured costumes dance to the rhythm of drums and native gongs. The streets are generally lined with vendors and pedestrians all wanting to witness the street-dancing.

Devotees both young and old on the other hand, flock to the Basilica del Santo Nino to light their candles and pray and dance for their 400-year old icon.

This year, the festival is a month long event with activities running from the first week of January. The main attraction though is the Procession on the 19th of January and the Sinulog Grand Parade on the 20th of January.

For more info click here

More Fun News


UK minister cites PAL's Airbus purchase in new PH-UK air deal

Visiting United Kingdom Member of Parliament (MP) Hugo Swire announced that a new bilateral air service agreement between his government and the Philippines' has been sealed on Tuesday, December 11.

In a speech before business leaders in Makati City, Swire, also the Foreign Minister of State at the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO), made special mention of the recent purchase of new Airbus aircraft by local legacy carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL).
"I [have signed] a new air services agreement with [Transportation] Secretary [Joseph Emilio] Abaya and will meet Ramon Ang [President and Chief Operating Officer] of PAL who hope to start direct flights to London soon," Swire told members of the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines.
For more info click here

UK to help PH overcome EU aviation ban

The United Kingdom wants to help the Philippines resolve pending issues with the European Union so Brussels will lift its ban on Philippines-based airlines, a British government official said.

On Tuesday, December 11, British Member of Parliament and State Minister for the Foreign Office Hugo Swire told Rappler that he wants carriers, such as Philipine Airlines (PAL), to fly to London soon and boost tourism and trade relationship between the two countries.

"We want to work with the Philippine government to look at the outstanding issues that the EU has, and try to resolve them so we can get these flights up and running as quickly as we can," he said.

Swire had previously announced the signing of a bilateral air services agreement between the Philippines and UK that will, in the future, allow PAL to fly direct to London and other UK destinations.

original article click here

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