Philippines Tourism E-Newsletter - May 2013

One of the primary thrusts of the Department of Tourism's promotional activities for this year is market development. This will target new segments of travellers to visit the country.

Recently, PDOT London attended the Rugby Business Networking Event to explore the market further. Closer ties with the organizers are being initiated to lure them to host similar events with a theme indigenous to the Philippines. Much of the interest stems from the increased awareness of the sport in the Philippines through the success of the national team - Volcanoes, of which 3 players live in the UK. The aim is to formulate sports tourism packages to attend live events including the Manila Tens every March where clubs from Wales and Scotland compete.

Numerous efforts to target the gap year and independent traveller markets are being organized through various product development initiatives, familiarization tours and promotions.

As more market segments continue to open up, awareness for the boundless attractions of the Philippines continues to grow and subsequently, garner more intrepid visitors to the country.

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Package of the Month
  More Fun News

Major Programs


Exciting Familiarization Trips to the Philippines

Familiarization trips for respected journalists, freelance writers, tour operators, photographers, TV production studios, filming crews and celebrity chefs among many others continue to be one of the cornerstone activities of the Department of Tourism. These trips showcase first-hand information, the massive diversity of the Philippines, including its countless attractions and the friendliness of its people to influential groups and individuals.

Since January, PDOT London has been assisting travel bloggers who have massive online followings on their trips to the Philippines. Travel blogs/websites such as Savoir There have been continuously raving about their Philippines trip and about the overall FUN experiences they had to their followers.

Recently, "A Lady in London" posted beautiful images of Bohol's scenery and exotic fauna on her social media platforms ( Amorita Resort in Bohol ( kindly provided accommodation and tour support while the partner airline for the trip was Malaysia Airlines (

TV production studios have also gone to the Philippines to cover various activities and attractions for their respective series to be aired later in the year. Travel Channel will be airing their Philippines episode of the "Asian Times" series later this year. Do keep an eye out for it to see the casts' personal experience in Intramuros, Boracay, Cordillera and even being part of a famous Filipino primetime TV game show.

Also watch out for the Philippines article set to appear on Financial Times following the visit by one of their journalists to Palawan. The trip was arranged by Audley Travel (, one of the UK tour operator partners of the Philippines.

Photo-journalist-author Nigel Hicks is currently doing his ninth book on the country, "The Most Beautiful Places of the Philippines" after visiting places such as Laoag, Vigan, Hundred Islands, San Fernando and Pagudpud beaches, Baguio, Sagada, Cebu, Bantayan, Malapascua, Bohol, Siquijor, Dumaguete,
Siargao, Puerto Princesa and the Underground River in Palawan. Photographs from the trip will also be shared to PDOT for its promotional use.

Winners from last year's "It's More Fun in the Philippines" promotion on Magic 105.4 have been embarking on their prize trips doing various activities in the country. Two sets of winners have already returned ecstatic time saying that they were really well taken care of throughout the trip and were hoping to return.

Tour operators such as Flight Centre did inspection tours of Manila, Puerto Princesa, Port Barton, Cacnipa Island, El Nido and Coron to amplify and continually develop their product portfolio. They had the most amazing and enjoyable holiday and are looking forward to selling the Philippines to their clients.
Friends Philippines Core Member, Ray Burleigh visited Manila to conduct research on yachting and cruising in the Philippines and held meetings with owners and operators of yachts to develop these markets.

This May, writers from Vanity Fair in Italy are currently in the Philippines to cover Manila, Clark, Mt. Pinatubo, Banaue, Batad, Sagada, Vigan and El Nido for the magazine.

More trips are being organized for the rest of the year including celebrity chefs, an English broadcaster and naturalist, TV production companies and tour operators for the annual Philippine Travel Exchange.

More Fun on Prestigious Publications

The relentless awareness campaign for the country's tourism brand "It's More Fun in the Philippines" on prestigious publications continue to attract attention and interest for everything Philippines.

Direct consumer response has been very positive with PDOT London receiving double the requests and inquiries each week for tourism collaterals and information compared with the same season a year ago. Constant full-page adverts on the Sunday Times and the Evening Standard have continued to place the Philippines at the forefront of travellers seeking a new holiday destination and immersive experience in Asia. New tour operators who have been featuring the Philippines only this year have already reported substantial demand and interest for the destination. These holidays range from ultra-luxury holidays for private island escapes like Ariara in Palawan to adventure trips focusing on biking and surfing.

Condé Nast Traveller too recently featured Dedon Island in Palawan as part of its Hot List for 2013. The esteemed list celebrates the best new hotels and resorts in the world.

Package of the Month


Philippines Island Odyssey Tour

Asian Horizons’ Philippines tours, bring you itineraries to one of the most exciting destinations in South-East Asia.

Starting from Manila, tours include the breath taking ancient volcanoes of Lake Taal before heading into Northern Luzon to discover more on culture, people and landscape hidden away in the remote rural settings.

Destinations included are visits to Manila - Taal - Baguio - Bontoc - Banaue - Puerto Princesa - Tabon Cave - Sabang - Bohol - Cebu.

This comprehensive 17- day itinerary starts from Manila and the volcanic formations of Lake Taal, before moving onto the jungle and villages of Northern Luzon. The tour then heads south to the stunning natural wonders of Palawan, the diverse wildlife of Bohol and the exhilarating city of Cebu.

International flights
All accommodation
All transfers, transportation
Activities as detailed in the itinerary
Meals as detailed in the itinerary
Local tax and service charge

Personal expenses
Travel insurance
Airport departure fee/taxes

Inquire Now click here

More Fun News


Philippines Wins Investment Grade Credit Rating from S&P

The rating on the Philippines’ long-term foreign-currency- denominated debt was raised one level to BBB- from BB+, with a stable outlook, S&P said in a statement yesterday. In contrast, the assessor revised its outlook on Indonesia’s BB+ rating to stable from positive.

“We’re continuing to address constraints to growth,” Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Susan Li today. “We’re fast tracking our infrastructure projects. We’re looking at areas we can open up to foreign investors.”

Aquino’s drive to transform the nation into one of the region’s fastest-growing economies is gaining strength, with the government forecasting record investment pledges this year as companies including Murata Manufacturing Co. expand. In Indonesia, President Yudhoyono has delayed cutting fuel subsidies that have drained government finances even as he tries to allocate more funds to infrastructure spending.
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Cebu Pacific flies over 3.53 million guests in Q1 2013

The Philippines’ largest carrier, Cebu Pacific flew more than 3.53 million passengers from January to March (Q1) 2013, an increase of 5% compared to 3.37 million passengers in Q1 2012.

Seat sales, increased routes and flight frequencies and sustained promotions paved the way for international passenger growth in CEB’s ASEAN routes. CEB flew over 376,000 passengers in Q1 2013, posting a 12% growth compared to Q1 2012.

CEB flies from the Philippines to the most number of ASEAN destinations. This includes Brunei, Bali, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Siem Reap, Singapore and Thailand.

CEB is also slated to launch flights from Cebu to Masbate (June 1, 2013) and Taipei (July 5, 2013), as well as the airline’s first long haul flights from Manila to Dubai (October 7, 2013).

Read More click here

Adventures in a Philippine paradise in a new season of Euronews'

In four special episodes of Euronews' Life series reporter Katharina Kaun travels across the idyllic archipelagos of the Philippines.Katharina takes viewers on a voyage of discovery, getting to know the people, history, culture and natural wonders of this nation of 105 million dispersed inhabitants. The country reveals its many attractions, from the bustling capital of Manila to the tourist paradise of Boracay, across beautiful landscapes in Donsol and UNESCO world heritage sites in Luzon.
For more info click here

Qatar Airways Announces Expansion on Three Continents

Qatar Airways recently announced route expansion on three continents together with a huge increase in capacity in Pakistan as part of the Doha-based carrier’s continued aggressive growth strategy.

The Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa will become the carrier’s 20th destination on the African continent, launching on September 18, followed a month later by Clark International Airport in the Philippines from October 28.

“Joining the oneworld global alliance later this year will also present tremendous travel options and benefits to our passengers and to those of partner carriers in the alliance.”

Added Al Baker: “We have been looking to fly to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for some time, and extremely delighted we will be able to do so later year as new aircraft join the fleet. And Clark International Airport in the Philippines provides us with great opportunities to boost our presence in the Greater Manila area and northern region of Luzon Island. This comes as good news for the well travelled Filipino community with ever increasing demand for flights to and from the country.”

Read More click here

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