Philippines Tourism E-Newsletter - August 2013

Awareness for the Philippines tourism brand continues to expand
among media and consumer driven publications and platforms in the UK. Consciousness for the Philippines is notably high specifically for destinations such as Palawan, Boracay, Bohol and Banaue, among others. Editors, photographers, bloggers are writing why it is More Fun in the Philippines.

This month sees the Department of Tourism (PDOT) finalizing preparations for the Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) in September. It is the country's premiere trade event for the travel industry with over 150 tour operator buyers worldwide visiting the Philippines to conduct business.

Finally, more good news for inbound tourism to the Philippines is the new regulation by the Bureau of Immigration that visitors from 151 countries can enter the Philippines for 30 days visa-free. This is a notable increase for the current 21 days.

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Package of the Month
  More Fun News

Major Programs

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Tremendous Fun Publicity for Philippines Tourism

More and more media outlets in the UK are currently engaging in a Philippines tourism publicity blitz this month: broadsheets, websites and social media are awash with articles, news features, photos, blog posts and competitions featuring various destinations and attractions of the Philippines.

Esteemed broadsheet, The Financial Times released a lengthy article on Palawan entitled "The Philippines’ final eco-frontier". Writer Maya Jaggi recounts her visit to El Nido, detailing the luxury and sustainability of the resort group amidst the surrounding paradise. Maya Jaggi was a guest of Philippine partner operator in the UK, Audley Travel (www.audleytravel.com). The article can be read here: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/18f84898-f5ed-11e2-a55d-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2b40aCFDI

Condé Nast Traveller's "Everything's Funky in the Philippines" article last month is now available online at http://www.cntraveller.com/recommended/tropical/the-best-of-the-philippines

Another widely read broadsheet, Metro Newspaper featured Bohol's unique Chocolate Hills as part of its "Great Natural Wonders" travel article. Metro reported 7.7 million monthly readers online and a 2 million daily newspaper readership.
http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/12/yellowstone-cancun-turkey-great-places-to-see-natural-wonders-3917931/

More features on Metro was released this week. On 14 August, "Island Jumping for Joy" by Polly Humphris was the main Travel Escapes feature. It showed the many attractions of Palawan covering adventure tourism at Ugong Cave, the Iwahig Penal Colony and the famed Puerto Princesa Underground River. http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/14/palawan-in-the-phillipines-remains-largely-undiscovered-by-tourists-3921789/

Another article by Tamara Hinson showed new airline routes from the UK, particularly Emirates opening up its daily route to Clark. The areas around Clark including Mt. Pinatubo to the Cordilleras in the north are mostly covered.

PDOT London has been assisting Metro with photos and insights into the multitude of attractions around these articles.

Three blogs, Beauty and the Dirt, Sabotage Times and For the Young Dude have all released interesting articles on the Philippines this month.

Jourdana's write-up on Beauty and the Dirt describes the new hot-spot destination for 2013 - Palawan.
http://www.beautyandthedirt.com/travel/philippines-the-final-frontier/

Sabotage Times' Robbie Hurley, counts his top ten reasons to visit the country that he says "has it all."
http://sabotagetimes.com/travel/10-reasons-why-you-need-to-visit-the-philippines/

Author simply known as Dil, from For the Young Dude lists trivia facts on his article, "Philippines Didja Know?"
http://www.fortheyoungdude.com/2013/08/philippines-didja-know/

All three blogs are currently in the running for Malaysia Airlines' amazing journey competition where you can vote for favourite Philippines' blogged itinerary. Winners will get round-trip holidays to the destination featured in the Philippines. https://www.facebook.com/uk.malaysiaairlines/app_353186324801554

Positive publicity for the country's tourism has never been higher with the continued developments, features, articles and news being regularly published. Increased awareness, plaudits and awards for its numerous attractions have indeed showcased to a growing global audience that it is indeed More Fun in the Philippines.

PHITEX 2013 presents ‘unending possibilities of fun’


Just exactly how much fun can foreign tourists enjoy in the Philippines?

This question is precisely what the forthcoming Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) 2013 will answer when the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) make the world’s wholesale travel agents come face to face with the country’s tourism industry players.

“And there will be some 150 foreign buyers coming to PHITEX 2013 to find that out,” said Domingo Ramon Enerio III, chief operating officer of TPB, the DOT’s marketing and promotions arm.

Buyers from the UK are a host of new prospective Philippine partners including leisure operators Cox & Kings, Flight Centre/Infinity Holidays and Jasmine Holidays; specialists Asian Horizons, Paradise Travel and Tours and Travel the Unknown; MICE buyer Crescent Associates.

Coming from Spain is ultra-luxury tour operator Nuba. From Italy, buyers attending are Asian specialists, Go Asia, Mosaico, Traveller Boutique and NBTS.

Enerio said this 12th PHITEX would provide the global travel trade sector with the kind of brand experience needed to help them market the Philippines as a unique destination with the right type of fun for every tourist.
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For more info click here

Package of the Month

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7 Nights Moalboal

Ultimate Diving is so happy to announce the return of the sardines to Pescador Island. We just received reports from our exclusive partners, the Magic Island Resort in Moalboal that the sardines who left Pescador Island a year ago have returned and we have put together an exclusive offer where you can dive the famous reefs and walls of Moalboal with the chance of diving with sardines. The Magic Island Dive resort is located in Cebu. It is a beautiful island with tropical rainforests, caves and waterfalls; stunning beaches, pristine reefs and one of the most diverse marine eco systems in the world.

This offer will allow you to spend 7 nights at the Magic Island Dive Resort in Moalboal where you will have the chance to explore the amazing waters with 5 days diving. The Magic Island Dive Resort has 10 cottages, all with beautiful views of the sea and the swimming pool from their private balcony. Exploring the fantastic house reef is a must! Moalboal is known for its incredibly colourful coral and fluoro diving. The deep waters at Moalboal mean that sometimes the unexpected visitor arrives and recently whale sharks, hammerheads and even pilot whales have been spotted.

The best known dive site in the area is the marine sanctuary, Pescador Island. This is a site with big walls playing host to a huge variety of marine life including Frogfish and schools of Snappers and Jacks. The sometimes strong currents and the depth of 35m may mean that at times you will also see schools of Barracudas as well as sightings of Sharks.

Package includes return flights from London in October 2013 with Cathay Pacific, and all transfers. Prices are based on two sharing in a standard room with air conditioning.

Inquire Now click here

More Fun News

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PAL returns to Europe after Ban Lifted


Philippine Airlines (PAL), the national flag carrier of the Republic of the Philippines, is finalizing plans on the resumption of flights to Europe after the European Union lifted last July 10, 2013 the ban on PAL from flying into Europe.

PAL President Ramon S. Ang said the welcome development "signals the westward expansion of our international route network as we prepare for the much awaited return of PAL to such popular European destinations as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Rome and Madrid."

PAL is currently fast-tracking all preparations to be able to mount non-stop flights initially to London, Amsterdam and Paris within the last quarter of 2013 or early 2014, utilizing PAL's long-range, ultra-modern Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
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Tourists’ initial stay in PH extended from 21 to 30 days

Starting this August, visitors from 151 countries can enter the Philippines without a visa and can extend their stay up to 30 days, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

BI Officer-in-Charge Seigfred Mison said on Tuesday the visa-free entry privilege has been extended from 21 to 30 days as part of the government’s efforts to draw more foreign tourists to the country.

The Department of Tourism is targeting 5.5 million foreign tourists for 2013 and double the figure by 2016. The tourism agency estimated that up to seven million jobs would be generated for Filipinos if the targets were achieved.

Mison noted that the new visa policy was adopted pursuant to a circular from the Department of Foreign Affairs issued on July 1. He said the bureau recently finished updating its computerized travel control systems in various ports of entry in time for the implementation of the new visa scheme.

59 days for Israel, Brazil visitors

While the scheme would allow foreign travelers up to 30 days in the country, visitors from Israel and Brazil shall be allowed an initial stay of 59 days following existing bilateral agreements, according to Mison.

He also emphasized that foreigners could only avail of the visa-free privilege if their passports were valid for at least six months beyond their intended period of stay.

“They should also present return tickets to their country of origin or onward tickets to their next country destination,” he said.
When asked whether the new scheme would affect the bureau’s collection, Mison said reduction might be minimal since many tourists who usually extended their visit actually stayed more than 30 days in the country.

“Yes to a certain extent since tourists who will be here for more than 21 days but less than 30 days will no longer file extensions,” Mison told reporters.

“But reduction may not be significant since tourists who really extend stay here for more than 30 days,” he added.

*Source: BI, DFA and Inquirer

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