It's More Fun in the Philippines Newsletter

International visitors to the Philippines grew by almost 10% in 2013 from the previous year reaching 4,681,307. UK arrivals reached 122,759 with a growth rate of 8.37% from 2012. The sustained growth shows that the country's tourism industry is going from strength-to-strength amidst the recent challenges.

Download the complete 2013 tourism arrival statistics here:

Worldwide attention and interest for Philippines travel continues to rise due to the numerous features and articles published in leading broadsheets and online publications.

The travel trade show season continues this month as The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) participates at leading industry events in the UK and Europe. Following a very successful Destinations Holiday and Travel Show in Earl’s Court and the London International Dive Show in ExCel last month, PDOT is currently in attendance at the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) in Berlin from March 5-19, 2014. Shortly after, the post-ITB selling missions in France and Spain will take place as well as participation at the PATA Exchange and the London Cruise Show.

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Wellness Destination of the Month
  More Fun Package of the Month

Major Programs


Enormous Media Mileage and Tourism Publicity for the Philippines!

The Philippines has been a constant mainstay on the news these days with positive travel publicity appearing in major publications every week.

Last month, not one but four amazing articles on the Philippines appeared in the Huffington Post.

Rupert Parker released two separate articles namely, "A New World of Food in the Philippines" and "Tourism Returns to Bohol, Philippines, After Earthquake and Typhoon". -

Next was the Huffington Post's inclusion of the Philippines among its Top 10 Places to visit this year due to the mixture of affordability and splendid cosmopolitan nature.

Following a survey conducted by the publication, it recommends the destination for bargain hunters, adventure seekers and foodies. -

Last but not least, Huffington Post published another article entitled, "A Whale of a Shark Story: Swimming With Whale Sharks In the Philippines". Marshall Berdan recounts in detail his family's experience in Donsol with the world's biggest fish. -

Meanwhile, Chris Haslam published in the The Sunday Times’ travel sections, a double-page spread in the broadsheet main piece, "The Philippines: back on the map". The article heading sums it up, "three months after the typhoon, the country is fighting back with new hotels and a new flight from Britain. In its western islands, it’s paradise as usual". -

Sunday People's travel section featured Asia's Carol McGiffin's article "Philippin Great". She discovers the endless attractions of El Nido describing it as an island paradise. -

"Just a One Way Ticket", one of the most read travel blogs is incessantly releasing a two-month long coverage on the Philippines. Blogger, Sabrina Iovino is currently in the country visiting Siargao, El Nido, Oslob, Cebu, Dumaguete, Bohol, Boracay and Manila etc. -

Lisa Scott of Metro UK newspaper showcased the top 3 upcoming celebrity getaways opening this year and specifically named Nobu Hotel located in the City of Dreams Manila.

Nobu Hotel, partly owned by Robert de Niro will become the brand's first boutique luxury hotel. The 321-room hotel set in Manila's new entertainment district will have a Nobu restaurant and a terrace overlooking Manila Bay. -

PDOT was able to assist in organising the necessary travel arrangements for a number of these journalists over the past two months resulting in these significant features.

All told, these exposures from notable travel journalists have brought huge media mileage and increased prominence for the Philippines. This has quickly translated into heightened awareness and demand for the destination as evidenced by the unprecedented number of inquiries and holiday bookings reported by travel industry partners.

The Philippines brings the Fun to Travel Events in the UK and Beyond

The Destinations Holiday and Travel Show in Earls Court last 06-09 February was highly successful with multiple tour operator-exhibitors selling their Philippines product in their respective corners. Each company highlighted their package holidays to different islands in the country. Long-time tour operator partners including Bamboo Travel, Paradise Vacations, GAdventures, Titan Holidays, Audley Travel and Visit Asia all reported increased inquiries for Philippines holidays during the 4-day event. Travel the Unknown is the newest Tour Operator to sell the Philippines and featured 6-pages of the destination in their brochure. Visit Asia also featured their 14-day "Best of the Islands" holidays.

The London International Dive Show (LIDS) in Excel held last 15-16 February, showcased the brand new underwater-inspired Philippines booth. A number of travel trade partners joined PDOT at the booth: Atmosphere Resorts in Dumaguete, Thresher Shark Divers and Evolution Diving from Malapascua, Dive Safari Asia, Philippine Dive Holidays, Equator Diving as well as Philippine Airlines. Co-exhibitors were greatly pleased with both days at LIDS in terms of the exposure, number of inquiries garnered and bookings realised. The new February dates coincided with four other adventure-related shows at Excel and have exposed a brand new market to the public who are new to diving and the Philippines.

On 10 March, PDOT will be participating at the annual PATA Exchange in London to engage in timed business-to-business meetings with luxury, wellness, adventure and general leisure operators keen to do business with the Philippines and initialize their respective programs.

PDOT will also be conducting a post-ITB selling mission in Paris and Madrid on 11 and 13 March, respectively. The mission aims to develop new travel trade partnerships and promote opportunities on the tourism investment front. The sessions will be attended by leading tourism industry players and developers from the Philippines and will be matched with their counterparts in both cities. The entire delegation will be headed by the Secretary of the Tourism, Hon. Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. and is supported by the Philippine Embassies in Paris and Madrid.

Closing up the quarter for trade shows will be the London Cruise Show on 22-25 March. PDOT will be participating for the first time through the kind invitation of Escape Events. The Philippines will promote various tour holidays available in 2014/2015. Several cruise operators such as Seabourn, Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, P&O, Oceania and Silversea are now running trips which include ports of call in Manila, Boracay, Hundred Islands, Palawan and Bohol, among others.

Wellness Destination of the Month


Tirta Spa, Boracay

Tirta Spa, the highly acclaimed spa in Boracay continues its run of accolades after bagging the "World's Luxury Day Spa Awards" for the Philippines for the past two years. It also earned TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence recognition.

Located away from the hustle and bustle of Boracay’s main beach and jetty ports, Tirta Spa offers a sanctuary for the discerning travellers who want to experience relaxation at its best. Tirta Spa has a selection of comprehensive holistic luxury wellness treatments and services all performed with careful attention.

The spa has two rooms available for visitors looking to have a few days of treatments at the secluded sanctuary.

Find out more click here

More Fun Package of the Month


Best of the Islands by Travel the Unknown

Chocolate Hills, tarsiers, volcanoes & beaches

Discover the sights of Davao, home to the tallest mountain in the Philippines. Observe the tribal life of the Bagobo people in Tibolo village and explore the countryside looking for the endangered Philippines eagle. Fly to Cebu, uncovering its colonial past before the boat ride to nearby Bohol. Swap gazes with the bug-eyed tarsier and enjoy panoramic views of the Chocolate Hills. Head west to Palawan for a ride through the enchanting underground river and visit the sobering Iwahig Penal Colony. Finally, make the journey to the Bicol region of Southeast Luzon, where majestic Mount Mayon looms in the background. Take in more natural beauty in Bulusan Crater Lake and on the shores of secluded Ticao Island.

What's included
International return flights (where indicated)
Airport pick ups & drop off
Four domestic flights
Entrance fees to sites & parks
Ground transport and driver
Local guides
Most meals

Places visited
Legazpi (Mount Mayon)
Ticao Island
For more info click here

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