It's More Fun in the Philippines Newsletter

With a string of good news over the past month, the Philippines continues to be recognized for its numerous attractions from various organizations and media publications.

Most recently, UNESCO inscribed Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Mindanao on its prized World Heritage List. This marks the 6th UNESCO site in the Philippines and the first in Mindanao. Previous sites include Tubbataha Reef National Park, Cordillera Rice Terraces, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, The Historic Town of Vigan and the Baroque Churches of the country.

The culturally rich and historic town of Vigan in Ilocos is also in the running to be one of the New 7 Wonder Cities of the World.

Meanwhile, a Gallup Poll has just recognized the Philippines among the happiest countries in the world.

All these appreciation from respected international organizations continue to be a boon for tourism adding to the countless reasons visitors find Fun in the Philippines.

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  More Fun Competition
  More Fun Package of the Month
  More Fun News

Major Programs


The Philippines Wows Agents in York During TTG on Tour

Earlier this month, PDOT London brought the "It's More Fun in the Philippines" tourism campaign further afield to the picturesque City of York. Joining the TTG on Tour Roadshow for the first time, PDOT was able to meet face-to-face with 46 travel agents from around the region eager to learn about the Philippines' attractions, activities and destinations.

Companies including Andrew Earles World of Travel, Conexo Travel, Lost Earth Adventures, Quarts Travel, SM Travel, STA Travel, Co-Operative Travel, Thomas Cook, Thompson and Travel Counsellors were well represented during the event. The face to face meeting and presentation proved to be an eye opener for almost everyone in attendance on the variety of tourism products the Philippines has to offer. Excitement developed as each group looked at the potential in pushing for this fresh destination and to their clients and markets.

While many of the agents currently are yet to sell the Philippines, one agent from Quarts Travel shared that he visits the country almost every year on personal holiday. After the roadshow and new found information on different destinations, he is keen to add the Philippines to their product portfolio.

Vigan City, Philippines, Shortlisted for “New7Wonder Cities”

Once again, the Philippines joins the global platform to showcase one of its best assets to the world. Vigan City in northern Philippines is shortlisted as one of the top 28 cities in the world to be chosen for “New7Wonder Cities”. This little town in Luzon boasts of rich cultural heritage, a well- preserved Spanish Colonial Town and history that dates back to the 16th century. In 1999, Vigan was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Filipinos and guests alike who have been to this part of the Philippines say that visiting Vigan is like stepping back in time. The vibe in this town is nothing you will find in Asia with its townscape depicting a picture perfect old settlement bussing with real life characters. It’s a perfect scenario of time travelling. The cobbled streets aged with the character of Colonial Spain and is full of well- preserved stone houses with distinctive ventanas (windows). Kalesa (horse carriages) still exists to transport you from different destinations in the area.

The Philippines is once again campaigning for Vigan to be part of the final N7W Cities through social media. It is proud to share the beauty of this wonderful city to the world. This is the second time the Philippines would have an entry to the N7W lists with the Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, topping the list for the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2012.
For more info click here

Check out the Philippines' New Dive Site on DIVE Magazine

PDOT London has partnered with leading UK publication DIVE Magazine to launch the Philippines micro-site together with its brand new website.

Spreading a flair of Fun, the Philippines page is packed full of features and information on anything underwater that the country is very well known for. It is replete with multiple videos on whalesharks, thresher sharks, muck diving and reef diving showing inspiring imagery of the Philippines'

There is even a fun quiz on the marine and topside attractions for users who feel they have knowledgeable take on the country.

Do check out the reasons why the Philippines is renowned for having the best diving in the world. click here

More Fun Competition


Win a 10-night Trip on the Philippine Siren with Equator Diving!

Equator Diving and Worldwide Dive & Sail are giving away a 10- night cruise holiday on Philippine Siren Liveaboard on her 10 night Malapascua & Visayas itinerary worth 3,150 Euros.

The prize is for one (1) person. Travel must commence by 31st December 2015 and bookings are subject to availability. Prize must be taken for one visit only - if a trip shorter than 10 nights is selected, the remaining days are forfeit.

Cancellations within 30 days of your cruise will result in forfeiting of the prize. Trip is subject to Marine Park, port fees & taxes of 130 Euro (subject to change), payable by the prize winner. Travel arrangements for this prize (e.g. flights, overnight hotels etc) are not included and must be booked through Equator Diving. This prize is not negotiable, not redeemable for cash and not transferable.

The prize draw is open to residents of all countries and entrants will be added to the mailing lists of Equator Diving and Worldwide Dive & Sail. Entry into the prize draw closes on 9th November 2014 and the winner will be announced on Equator Diving's website within 2 weeks of the prize draw closing.
For more info click here

More Fun Package of the Month


The Philippine Jungle Expedition

The Path in Sweden is inviting adventurers to trek and sleep in the rainforests of the Philippines over 3 weeks of high octane adventures. Group trips of 8 people are encouraged.

From Manila the group heads out to Ilagan, Isabela on Land Rovers to see some crocodiles. Adventurers will visit the CROC project which work with wild specimens of the Philippine crocodile, a freshwater crocodile and one of the largest species on the planet.

Next on the agenda is the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP), where an Agtha guide of the indigenous population of Isabela, guides the group through the jungle.

The group then hikes towards Palanan to visit the Palanan Forestal Dynamics Plot, a scientific research station in the tropical rainforest.

Next on the hike is a small village called Divilacan. Here in NSMNP nests the greatly endangered Philippine Eagle, also known as the monkey eating eagle, the largest raptor in the world.
Also in Divilacan is the elusive flying fox.

The group will also check out mangrove swamps, swim in coral reefs in crystal clear waters of the Pacific.

Visitors will then go to Maconacon, together with the Agtha guide,
and then trekk over NSMNP again. On the other side of the mountain range the group will be picked up by Land Rovers to head back to Manila.

Inquire Now or download the PDF for the full itinerary click here

More Fun News


New Property Openings - Starwood returns to the Philippines

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is re-entering the Philippines with two new Westin and Sheraton hotels.

Chuck Abbott, regional VP of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Southeast Asia, told the Business Mirror that Starwood is partnering with Travellers International Hotel Group to open a Westin and Sheraton property in Manila.

The Westin Manila Bayshore is planned to have 600 guestrooms and is slated for opening in mid-2016. It will be part of TIHGI’s Resorts World Bayshore in the Entertainment City in Parañaque. The Sheraton Manila Hotel is scheduled to open in early-2017 at the Resorts World Manila complex in Pasay.

“Specifically, growth in Southeast Asia is very exciting for us, especially in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, where demand for hotels outpaces supply. Starwood pipeline is robust in this region, with 20 more hotels to open in the next three years,” Abbott said.

Hotel development in the Philippines is heating up, with Ayala Land investing $133 million in the development of an ecotourism estate in El Nido, Palawan, to be open in 2016. On top of that, Thunderbird Resorts Philippines set aside $60 million in march to expand its hotels in the La Union and Rizal provinces, adding more rooms and turning the properties into mixed-use developments.

Starwood also announced another W Hotel in Asia with a new property in Shenyang, China, according to Hotel News Resource. Set to open in 2019, the W Shenyang will be located along Qingnian Avenue. These hotels are a part of the W brand's plan to open 12 new properties in the Asia Pacific region by 2019 with more than half those hotels planned for China.

Source: Business Mirror

PH among happiest countries in the world—Gallup poll

MANILA, Philippines—Despite calamities in 2013, the Philippines is among the happiest countries in the world, according to Gallup’s “positive experiences” index.

Among the 138 countries surveyed, the Philippines tied with Indonesia and Thailand with a score of 80 in Gallup’s “Positive Experience Index.”

This is despite super typhoon “Yolanda” and other calamities that ravaged the country in 2013. Yolanda has claimed over 6,000 lives when it hit Central Philippines.

Gallup polled 138 countries in 2013 by asking a thousand adults in each country whether they experienced a positive emotion in the previous day.

Included in the top happiest countries are Paraguay, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Denmark, Venezuela, and El Salvador.

Paraguay has been leading the poll three years in a row.
Meanwhile, the least happy country is Syria, which is faced with a civil war between rebel forces and President Bashar al-Hassad.
The report said seven in 10 adults worldwide experienced “lots of enjoyment, laughing or smiling a lot, feeling well-rested, and being treated with respect…”

The report added that a majority or 51 percent said they “learned or did something interesting the day before.”

According to the United Nations, the Philippines ranked 92nd of 156 countries in its happiness index from 2010 to 2012.

Original Source: Inquirer

Mt. Hamiguitan on UNESCO World Heritage List

The Philippines was honored recently, as Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary was officially inscribed on the prestigious United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

The decision was approved by the World Heritage Committee currently holding its 38th session in Doha, Qatar from June 15 to 25.

The Philippines’ nomination was praised as “exemplary” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) during the deliberations.

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is the 6th site of the Philippines and the first property from Mindanao to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. It is also the first mountain in the Philippines to be included in the coveted list.
For more info click here

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