It's More Fun in the Philippines Newsletter

The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) London unreservedly thanks the entire travel industry for the support and solidarity it has shown over the past few weeks.

The outpouring support from all industries has been unprecedented and indeed overwhelming. These include UEFA's "You are Not Alone, Philippines" banner before all Champions League matches last week, countless donations and fundraisers set up by travel sector, Verifone taxis, numerous publications, event organizers giving up their media platforms for free and many more.

The coverage by the UK travel media airing the impact and benefits of tourism to the local communities and the economy in the Philippines has been tremendous. These include full length articles from TTG, Wanderlust, The Guardian, Travel Bite and the Evening Standard.

All of these are an inspiration to us and we can't thank you enough!

In this issue:

  Philippines Coverage
  Travel Industry Solidarity Showed for the Philippines

Philippines Coverage

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The Philippines remains a safe and fun destination for all Tourists

The Philippines remains a safe and fun destination for all tourists, notwithstanding this unfortunate incident. The DOT assures the travelling public that tourism establishments and tourism activities continue and remain in operation in most parts of the Philippines.

More than 97% of the country, including the main travel destinations are fully operational and are welcoming visitors.

The access to Coron Palawan by land, sea and air from Manila, Puerto Princesa City, Cebu City, El Nido, Culion and Occidental Mindoro are all operational. This includes the tourism establishments such as accommodation, restaurants, souvenir shops as well its tourism sites and attractions.

Tourism accounts for 8% of the GDP and 2.9m jobs, almost 8% of the total employment. It is a key contributor to the development of the country in rebuilding lives and businesses in communities.

The recently concluded familiarization trip to the Philippines for UK operators in the past two weeks was a “fabulous trip”, as reported by Keith Harrison of Cathay Pacific. “I’ll be “bigging” up any opportunities that arise for promoting and encouraging Philippine Tourism.. It’s a very special place”, he added.

While Malcolm Davies of Funway Holidays stated, “we will show the travel industry in the UK that the Philippines needs us and is always ready to receive and welcome the tourists to its shores. We’ll go back (to UK) and tell them that what happened should not affect people coming here to spend the holidays.”

* All the photos below were taken within the past two weeks.

Travel Industry Solidarity Showed for the Philippines

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TTG - Government outlines why sending tourists to Philippines is crucial

More than 97% of the country, including the main travel destinations are fully operational and are welcoming visitors.

The access to Coron Palawan by land, sea and air from Manila, Puerto Princesa City, Cebu City, El Nido, Culion and Occidental Mindoro are all operational. Tourism establishments such as accommodation, restaurants, souvenir shops as well as attractions and activities are back in business.

Tourism accounts for 8% of the GDP of the country and provides 2.9m jobs. This equates to almost 8% of the total employment. It is a key contributor to the development of the country in rebuilding lives and businesses in communities.

Read More click here

The Guardian - The Philippines: A Guide to the Best Islands


Six of the country's 7,000-plus islands were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan; many of the others badly need tourists to return. Local writer Aya Lowe picks the best places to go.

For a country with thousands of idyllic islands, plus world-class surfing and diving, the Philippines is a relatively undiscovered travel destination. Tourism is crucial to the country's economy, accounting for eight per cent of its GDP, but compare the UK visitor numbers – 120,000 in 2012 – to those of Thailand (800,000 per year) and you get some idea of just how off the radar this vast archipelago is.

This month, of course, the country is firmly on the world's radar – for all the wrong reasons. Typhoon Haiyan caused wide spread destruction across the provinces of Leyte and eastern Samar on the mid-eastern side of the Philippines and some parts of Palawan and Cebu on the mid-western side. But while the areas in the path of the typhoon were devastated, much of the country was not damaged. The storm caused havoc on six of the country's 7,107 islands, so most resorts and tourists activities are open and fully functional, and those that were hit are quickly getting back on their feet in the run up to December and January, two of their busiest months of the year.

The tourist board and tour operators are reassuring visitors that the country is not only safe, but in desperate need of visitors to bring a vital boost to the economy. Those who go will receive a very warm welcome. So, how do you choose which of those 7,000-plus islands to visit? Here's our guide to 10 islands, each offering something different.
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The Guardian - Tourists urged to holiday in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan

The Philippines tourism board is urging people to visit the country, stressing that their visits will have a direct effect on helping to rebuild lives and keep locals in jobs in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

While the scale of the devastation caused by the worst typhoon ever recorded made front-page news all over the world, the tourist board says media coverage has given the false impression that the entire country is out of bounds.

Tour operators to the country are reiterating the message that the country is open for business and reassuring clients that the country is not only safe to visit but in need of visitors.

Read More click here

Travel Bite - We shall keep the torch burning’, Philippines Tourism says


The Philippines Department of Tourism has sent out a plea for tourists to still consider visiting The Philippines in the foreseeable future, after a category five storm - Haiyan - devastated parts of the country.

Tourism for the Philippines continues to be one of the major contributors to the economy making up approximately 8 per cent of the GDP. Following the storm - one of the most powerful ever recorded - tourism ‘could help repair the country.’

Venus Tan, regional director Europe, said in a written statement: “In our own way, we shall keep the torch burning. Tourism is a multiplier industry. Encouraging more travel and tourism to the country now will provide much needed jobs and livelihood for our people; and indeed put meaningful contribution to survivors of this disaster.

“We rely on our partners, both in the private and public sectors, to embark on initiatives that will help us achieve normalcy and sustain the tourism growth, particularly in the affected destinations.”

“The coming days, and indeed months to come will test the resiliency of the Philippines and the Filipino people yet again. We remain confident however that we will sail this crisis through; rebuild, move forward and come out stronger and even more determined,” she continued.
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The Evening Standard - Tourism can boost disaster-hit Philippines says Simon Calder

My son is due to fly to Manila for a three-week independent island-hopping trip in the Philippines — including the area affected by the typhoon. He doesn’t feel it will be a holiday, and that it would be wrong to go when the people are suffering so much. Can he cancel? His insurance company says it will only pay if the UK Foreign Office warns against going, which it does for only part of the country. — Jean Bean

The suffering of the people of the Philippines since the typhoon struck has been heart-rending.

Your son’s reluctance to visit a nation that has been hit by such profound tragedy is understandable; when so many are suffering, taking a holiday can seem callous. Yet tourism is essential to help the long-term recovery of the typhoon-hit region. It’s an extremely effective way to bring in foreign exchange and provide employment.

Most of the country is physically unaffected by the typhoon. The biggest island, Luzon, offers a wealth of opportunities from beautiful beaches to trekking through volcanic terrain.

Read More click here

Wanderlust - Philippines continues to welcome visitors


In a statement on their website, the department insisted that the majority of the archipelago is safe and accessible. Adding, “we are still the same beautiful country and we are still the same people”, the department assured travellers that “both domestic and international transport in the Philippines remains available and continues to be operational”.

The assessment accords with information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO has advised against all but essential travel to the Eastern Visayas region, which was badly hit by the typhoon, but places no restrictions on travel to many nearby islands. These include Iloilo, Bohol and Bacolod.
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TTG - The Travel Trade Unites for the Philippines

The travel industry has rallied together to support those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Air Charter Service (ACS) is one of the providers to have mobilised for the relief efforts, having arranged a number of cargo charters carrying aid to the country.

ACS’s group cargo director, Justin Lancaster, said: “We have been working continuously over the weekend and since, developing situation reports for the region, checking airport details and aircraft availabilities, so that we can advise relief agencies as soon as they call us.

“We have already booked more than 1,000 tonnes of cargo to be flown out, and we are expecting to confirm many more charters in the coming days.

“Cebu Airport is the main hub and we have ACS staff on the scene at the airport to help coordinate things on the ground over there and to make sure that the aircraft are offloaded efficiently so the agencies get their relief to those in need as soon as possible.”

Read More click here

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