Philippines Tourism E-Newsletter - June 2013

A year after the "It's More Fun in the Philippines" tourism campaign was launched internationally on CNN, the taxi and bus adverts in London awareness for the destination brand continues to grow.

The tourism brand is now becoming a mainstay on top travel publications such as The Sunday Times, Independent, Conde Nast Traveller and National Geographic with full page adverts, lengthy articles and features.

Response to the wonderful exposure for the Philippines as a "hot and must-visit" destination has been very positive from both the consumer and travel trade markets.

New sectors of travellers are now finding more reasons to visit the Philippines with cuisine tours, ultra-luxury trips, surfing, sporting events and off-the-beaten track travel are on the rise. Tour operators also report a double figure growth in sales of their packages and number of room-nights sold have also increased while flights to the Philippines are on a steady climb.

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Package of the Month
  More Fun News

Major Programs

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More Fun Publicity for Philippines Tourism

Positive publicity for the Philippines as an exciting world-class destination continues with a series of articles and write-ups run on various print publications.

On Escapism magazine, a new independent travel magazine with a non-mainstream approach featured the Philippine Jeepney on its very first edition last month.

Condé Nast Traveller Magazine has an immense EIGHT- page spread on the latest July 2013 issue. It featured the country with an article entitled, "Everything's funky in the Philippines" by Ondine Cohane. The feature highlights luxury island getaways such as Amanpulo, Dedon Island, Pangulasian and Ariara as well as the multitude of activities that can be done including surfing, scuba diving and wake-boarding. Do grab a copy now!
http://www.cntraveller.com/magazine

Awareness for the Philippines as a surfing destination continues to gain momentum with columns propping up even on New York Times. The article is also written by Ondine Cohane titled, "Surfing and Serenity on a Remote Philippine Island."
http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/travel/surfing-and-serenity-on-a-remote-philippine-island.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

On National Geographic Traveller's South East Asian supplement, the Philippines presence was highly prominent with inclusions of Bohol's distinctive attractions and island-hopping opportunities in Boracay and Palawan. A 4-page piece by David Whitley called "Ring of Fire" describes the multitude of beautiful and unique volcanoes in the Philippines including Taal and Mayon.

Moving to Scandinavia, the Copenhagen Post in Denmark published a Philippines supplement in time for the country's 115th Independence Day celebration this June. The issue contains a lengthy section on tourism with its 10-choice destinations, activities, attractions and culture.

One of the many positive outcomes of this increased awareness for the destination is the growing demand coming from the travel sector in UK and Europe. Tour operators and travel agencies have indeed noticed the heightened publicity for the Philippines equating to increased demand for more travel products to the country. As such they are keen to initiate and expand their current offerings.

Partnerships with Tour Operators


Travel trade partnerships are one of the primary focuses of PDOT London on its yearly work program. PDOT has conducted numerous planning meetings and provided training to a host of UK operators as well as discuss upcoming activities with opportunities for joint-promotional partnerships.

Top on the list is the forthcoming Philippine Travel Exchange to be held in September in Manila. It is the primary business-to-business annual event wherein tour operator buyers around the world meet with local industry suppliers offering the latest and best travel products and services in the Philippines.

PDOT London is also organizing and implementing bespoke training sessions for new tour operator partners to increase product knowledge, foster portfolio expansion and drive more bookings for their Philippine products.

Trailfinders, the largest independent travel company in the UK happily reported that the number of room nights sold so far in 2013 has already exceeded the same figure for the entire 2012.

Flight Centre, meanwhile, reported a steady 25% year-on-year growth for Philippines bookings across all its brands. It is one of the most recognized brands in the industry worldwide.

On the ultra-luxury market, Steppes Travel’s first booking to the Philippines recently was a holiday worth £20,000.00, a trend they see increasing in the coming months.

Testimonials from Magic 105.4 Winners with Philippines and Cathay Pacific

Late last year, the Philippines Department of Tourism with Cathay Pacific embarked on a radio campaign on Magic 105.4 FM in the UK offering 6 magical holidays to listeners.

It was one of the most successful campaigns for travel holidays reported by the radio station receiving unprecedented number of participants and entries all interested in the exciting destination on offer.

The first winner to visit the country, Joanne Thompson and Darren Lindsay who won the "Beach Holiday" shared their experience below.

"My partner and I enjoyed the trip of a lifetime to the Philippines in April 2013. We had an amazing time - the country was beautiful, the people were so friendly and we both can't wait to go back! Our tour of Manila was very informative - it was really interesting to learn about the Philippines’ rich and varied history and we ended the day understanding a lot more about the country we were visiting.

Boracay was paradise - the sun shone every day, the beaches were unspoiled and uncrowded, the waters clear and warm and perfect for snorkelling, and there was plenty to do both during the day and at night.

We next went to Palawan - again this island was beautiful and so hot! The Underground River tour is an absolute must for anyone visiting here. I'm so pleased we had the opportunity to experience different islands as well as Manila, and we would definitely recommend visiting this beautiful country"

It all went so smoothly when we were out there and we really didn't have to worry about anything. The resorts that were chosen for us, The Regency (http://www.boracayregency.com/) and Sheridan Beach Resort in Palawan (http://www.sheridanbeachresort.com/) were absolutely amazing and we would love to stay at both resorts again when we visit again! We also extend our thanks to Sharp Travel (http://www.sharptravelservice.com), Liberty in particular was extremely helpful. We'd also like to thank our ground handler Benjy, who was professional, friendly and really seemed keen to have things run smoothly for us throughout the whole trip. Finally, Jimmy, our tour guide for the city tour in Manila, deserves a mention - again he was very friendly, very knowledgeable and he made the experience very enjoyable.”

Joanne and Darren have kindly shared their photos with us and the properties they have visited.

Please see the link from our facebook album click here

Last few weeks to catch Philippines Showcase at Paris' Quai Branly

April 9 until July 14, 2013


The Philippines Exhibit: "An Archipelago of Exchange" at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris is touted as one of the largest exhibition of Philippine pre-colonial artifacts outside the country.

The Exhibit showcases 310 unmissable pre-colonial works – sculptures, pottery, textiles, personal ornaments – selected from both public and private collections in the Philippines, United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Austria.

The showcase provides an insight into the Philippines’ roots culture before the colonial age through pieces of art with one section focused towards the mountains, the other looking out to sea.

The exhibit runs until Bastille Day (14th of July) at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.
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For more info click here

EuroNews Traveller's Diary on the Philippines

Euronews' LIFE series travels around the world producing a series of reports on culture, heritage, lifestyle or business of the destination. It's latest showcase, the Philippines Traveller's Diary is now live and available to view online.

The Philippines Traveller's Diary is composed of a number of short episodes, presenting facets and diversity of Manila, the country's underwater attractions, island getaways and its heritage trail in the north.

Watch the entire series now click here

Package of the Month

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Trailfinders


It would take several lifetimes to explore the 7,000+ islands that make up the Philippine archipelago, but if you’ve only got the one to spare, spend it in the South. Blessed with miles of pristine, uncrowded beaches, intriguing caves and the two-tiered Puerto Princesa subterranean river, the Palawan province is perfect for travellers eager to try their hand at a variety of experiences in an under explored part of south east asia.

Highlights
Exploring the underwater caves
Travelling by boat to see limestone karsts emerge from the ocean
Venturing from island to island while snorkelling

Day 1 Manila
Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Puerto Princesa
Fly to Puerto Princesa, our last visit to civilization on the island paradise of Palawan.

Days 3-4 Sabang
Journey to the center of the earth in the underwater caves of the Puerto Princesa subterranean river national park.

Days 5-7 El Nido
Cruise along the Palawan shoreline by boat to stunning El Nido, known for its large limestone karsts emerging from the turquoise ocean. While here, enjoy an included island hopping snorkelling trip.

Day 8 Manila
Fly back to Manila. Depart at any time in the afternoon.

Inclusions
• 7 nights hotel accommodation, domestic flights, transport by boat, private and public bus
Not Included
• International flights
For more info click here

More Fun News

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DHL welcomes visiting rugby legend Scott Gibbs

Manila 10s is the first ever rugby tournament to be held in the Philippines, and remains the premier rugby tournament in the country. DHL Express was one of the major sponsors for the 24th Manila 10s Rugby Launch organized by the Australian New Zealand Chamber of Commerce.

Scott Gibbs, the former rugby footballer who represented Wales and the Lions in Rugby Union and Wales and Great Britain in Rugby League, graced the launch, a prelude to the Manila 10s Rugby Tournament. Joined by other legends such as John Bentley, Caleb Ralph, Apollo Perelini and Michael Letts, rugby enthusiasts in the Philippines had an opportunity to mingle with their favorite rugby players.

Original Source: Philstar

Ambassador Salinas Inaugurates Dive Exhibit in Metro Islas Filipinas in Madrid


The Philippine Embassy in Madrid reports that Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain Carlos C. Salinas inaugurated the dive exhibit entitled “Buceo: Es Más Divertido en Filipinas” (Dive: It´s More Fun in the Philippines) in Metro Islas Filipinas in Madrid on 02 June 2013. The inauguration was attended by Metro de Madrid officials, members of the Filipino community, and Embassy officials and staff.

The dive exhibit, which was organized by the Embassy in coordination with Metro de Madrid and the Department of Tourism (DOT), will run from 01 June to 30 June 2013 and is one of the Embassy´s activities for Mes Filipino. After 30 June, the exhibit will move to other metro stations in Madrid.

IT features colorful and interesting photographs of the different diving sites that the Philippines has to offer – Mindoro, Batangas, Palawan, Tubbataha Reef, Bohol, Cebu, Negros, and Donsol. The photographs featuring different wildlife and dive wrecks used in the exhibit were contributed by known underwater photographer Scott “Gutsy” Tuason, Stephen Tan, Tobias Kammann, Oliver Ang, Jayvee Fernandez, Wowie Wong, and Oka Espenilla.

The said exhibit is part of the Embassy´s efforts to increase tourism arrivals from Spain. It is roughly estimated that 40%-50% of all tourism arrivals from Spain are divers based on the consolidated figures reported by top Spanish dive operators. For the first quarter of 2013, there had been a 9.68% increase in Spanish arrivals to the Philippines compared to the same period last year. Total Spanish arrivals to the Philippines for 2012 reached 15,985 which represent an 8.51% increase from 2011.

Mes Filipino is a month-long celebration organized by the Embassy in June of each year to commemorate the anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence and Philippines-Spain Friendship Day through cultural activities such as exhibits, seminars, concerts, food festivals, etc.
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For more info click here

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