Philippines Tourism E-Newsletter - July 2013

The best news of the month for Philippines Tourism in Europe is having the EU ban lifted for Philippine Airlines. The announcement by EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux, paves the way for the national carrier to fly direct routes to Paris, London, Rome, and Amsterdam, among others.

This news also opens up a host of well-established operators in Europe featuring the Philippines among their holiday packages. Large tour operators can now start selling the country which was previously limited due to insurance limitations. With the ban removed, existing operator partners like Premier Holidays can expand their destination portfolio offerings within the Philippines including domestic flights from international gateways Manila, Clark and Cebu.

All these developments reflect on the Philippine tourism figures which reached 2.011 million arrivals for the period of January to May. This represents a 10.54 percent growth rate over the same period last year.

In this issue:

  More Fun Programs
  Package of the Month
  More Fun News

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Philippines Tourism Set to Take-Off as Flag Carrier Prepares to Resume Flights to London

The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) is most pleased with the decision of the European Union (EU) to lift its ban on the Philippines, which will now allow Philippine Airlines (PAL) to operate fights to the 28-nation bloc.

“This is very good news for the Philippine aviation industry as this means that the EU now recognizes the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) as an aviation authority that competently qualifies airlines in the Philippines. This is also an excellent opportunity for Philippine tourism as PAL will be able to effectively augment the existing services by foreign carriers that cater to tourists in the region. The United Kingdom is the number one source market from Europe with more than 113,000 visiting the country in 2012. We therefore expect a significant increase from this market, to include those from adjacent countries, once the PAL flights are made available,” Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. remarked.

As we work towards our goal of 10 million foreign tourists by 2016, we need our international air seats and connectivity greatly enhanced, in addition to our ongoing internal development work on infrastructure, destination and facilities,” Mr. Jimenez added.

PDOT is working hand in hand with all industry players like the Department of Transportation and Communications, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the Civil Aeronautics Board for improvements in airport infrastructure development, aviation safety and security, and air services agreements in preparation to receiving the arrival of more tourists to the country.

PAL, the Philippine flag carrier, aims to reclaim its flight entitlement of 7 times a week to London, Paris and other European cities and has plans to commence flights by the third quarter of this year. Once activated, this is seen to further boost the growing tourism that the Philippines is experiencing in the last two years.

Ramon Ang, Chief Executive of PAL, announced, “PAL flights will be faster than any carrier that take 18 to 24 hours from Manila to Europe. Our flights will take you 12 to 13 hours one way compared to other airline flights when you still have to wait for several hours in their hubs.” In addition, Ang said that their pricing to Europe will be very competitive with existing carriers.

Marie Venus Q. Tan, PDOT Director for Europe, said, “Now, there are no more hindrances for our tour operators (old and new) to sell and push for their Philippine products in the UK. The lifting of the EU ban means there are no more limitation in terms of travel insurances and the planned return of PAL to Europe will effectively increase the capacity to bring in more guests to our country.”

PH tourism bullish to achieve higher volumes as EU lifts ban


Philippine tourism keeps exceeding expectations as international visitors reached 2.011 million from January to May this year, reflecting a 10.54 percent growth over 1.819 million of the same period last year. The figure represents a historic first in breaching the two-million mark in the first five months of a year.

All key tourism markets are bullish, led by Korea and the United States with a compounded stake of 39.55% in the total inbound traffic. Korea continues to secure the top rank, rallying 489,389 tourist arrivals to the country. While the U.S. economy has yet to recover from recession, the number of American tourists leapt by 2.58 percent, with 306,056 arrivals compared to the same period last year. Visitors from Japan accounted for 179,984 or 8.95 percent of the overall visitor volume. The Chinese market, on the other hand, saw an uptick at 18.35 percent, rising to 163,879 from 138,466 arrivals. Australia has kept the fifth spot with 88,190 visitors keeping Taiwan at bay for two straight months now. Nevertheless, Taiwan generated 79,297 arrivals, possibly foreign independent travelers (FITs) who have more flexibility to pursue their travel itineraries.

Rounding up the top producers in terms of volume and percentage growth are: Singapore with 70,470 (3.50%); Canada with 61,086 (3.04%); Hongkong with 55,811 (2.77%); United Kingdom with 52,379 (2.60%); Malaysia with 45,447 (2.26%); and Germany with 33,205 (1.65%).

With the European Union (EU) lifting its aviation safety ban on the Philippines, source markets from this region are expected to yield higher volumes as flag carrier Philippine Airlines readies to resume its flights by September or October with Paris, London, Rome and Amsterdam among its maiden destinations.

“This augurs well for the industry and in meeting our year-end goal of 5.5 million arrivals and our 2016 objective of 10 million. Hopefully, PAL services resume as planned and with the Civil Aeronautics Board’s move to start negotiations for new air service agreements with other European countries, we can expect greater movements from the region. Meanwhile, DOT and PAL can mount more aggressive promotions in that sphere to boost not only arrivals, but also investments,” Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. remarked.

In 2012, the Philippines welcomed 442,686 European visitors. For this year, the DOT is targetting 574,565 European tourists. For the following years, the DOT projections for European travellers to the Philippines are 699,326 in 2014, 851,176 in 2015, and 1,036,000 in 2016. The DOT forecast for Europe has already taken into consideration optimal conditions like the lifting of the EU ban, which will help the DOT in the achievement of its goals.

“We are also counting on the resolve of other Philippine carriers to improve their aviation security issues as we need to significantly increase access and capacities to penetrate new markets, as well as to grow existing ones,” the tourism chief added.

Package of the Month

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Philippines Islands Top Travel+Leisure World's Best


Both Palawan and Boracay topped Travel+Leisure World's Best Island Travel Awards for 2013. Palawan garnered the top spot with a score of 95.04 edging out last year's winner Boracay at 93.58.

Travel and Leisure Magazine conducts the annual World's Best poll on its readers by from December 1 to April 1 of the following year. Respondents are asked to name the best hotels, cities, islands, cruise ships, tour operators and safari outfitters, airlines, airports and car-rental agencies.

The survey website, tlworldsbest.com, was maintained, monitored, and kept secure by ROI Research Inc., which collected and tabulated the responses and kept them confidential," the Travel + Leisure magazine explained.
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For more info click here

More Flights to Batanes by PAL Express and Skyjet

More domestic flights have been launched by carriers PAL Express and Skyjet to Basco Batanes from Manila recently.

Batanes is the Philippines' northernmost island group which boast of pristine and rugged terrain and spectacular views of the coasts.

PAL Express, affiliate carrier of Philippine Airlines, started their thrice weekly service to Basco, Batanes last 1 May.

The flight, 2P084, leaves Manila every Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 6:00 AM and arrives at Basco airport in Batan island at 7:45 AM. Return flight, 2P085, departs Basco at 8:10 AM to arrive in Manila at 9:50 AM.

Skyjet meanwhile is offering seat sales until the end of July for the travel period from 2 December 2013 until 31 May 2014.

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