WOW Philippines E-Newsletter - May 2008

Welcome to the May 2008 edition of your WOW Philippines E-Newsletter. The second quarter finds DOT London focused on organizing familiarization trips by tour operators and journalists to the Philippines. One such trip involves a select group of tour operators going on an adventure trip to Palawan, in cooperation with the PATA UK Chapter and Malaysia Airlines. Get in touch with us if you want more information on how to participate in this project.

More and more activities and promotional programs are being organized by DOT London as the year goes on. We invite you to become one of our active partners and to do your share in promoting tourism to the Philippines!

In this issue:

  Major Program Updates
  Featured Destination of the Month
  Package of the Month
  Travel Advisory Spotlight
  Article of the Month
  DOT News

Major Program Updates

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Cooperation with Abando Dive Travel / Viajes Iberia

The excellent dive sites and facilities of the Philippines were highlighted during the recent participation of DOT London in Tour Buceo 2008, a dive roadshow organized by Abando Dive Travel in the cities of Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Valencia, Bilbao and Barcelona from April 5 to 12, 2008.

For year 2008, DOT London has struck a partnership with Abando Dive Travel to promote Philippine diving activities in Spain. On top of being featured as the "Priority Destination" in Tour Buceo 2008, Philippine dive packages are also being sold thru eight pages of Abando's recently-produced dive brochure. Distribution of these packages is being done through the nationwide network of Viajes Iberia, one of the biggest retail agencies in Spain and owner of Abando Dive Travel.

Tour Buceo 2008 has produced a substantial increase in inquiries for Philippine diving information, especially from journalists and TV production companies wishing to feature the country's diving attractions. In May this year, Valencia-based Bluescreen Productions will film in Tubbataha Reef and Malapascua Island, and include footages in these areas in a 13-part series called "Seas and Oceans" in 2009. Apart from showing this in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, "Seas and Oceans" will also be featured internationally in the Discovery Channel.

For more info click here

Internet Promotions


Watch out for the launching of two new exciting features in the WOW Philippines UK Website this month, aimed at significantly escalating tourism promotional capabilities. The addition of these new features will enable precise messages to be delivered to targeted audiences.

???The Press Centre will allow consumers and media visitors to browse previous articles of the e-newsletters, tourism arrival statistics, and current press releases.

???The Video Functionality will enable users to watch Philippine promotional tourism videos using the "Media Box" on the front page. For those who wish to receive copies of Philippine tourism videos, they may do so by visiting "Request Video" page in the website as well.

All these improvements are being done to harness the potentials of internet marketing and to make the WOWPhilippines UK website a reliable source of information and updates.

Featured Destination of the Month

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Dumaguete, Negros Oriental

Dumaguete is the capital, principal seaport, and largest city of the province of Negros Oriental. It is easily accessible via domestic flights or through an efficient ferry service from Cebu.

The attractions within this small city of 118,000 are copious, and so are the natural attractions surrounding it. Within striking distance of the capital are intricate cave systems, huge waterfalls and cool rivers rushing through tropical jungles from picturesque mountain lakes.

More impressive is Dumaguete's proximity to some of the best dive sites of the country. Its diving repertoire is world renowned, and includes the nearby marine sanctuaries of Apo Island, Sumilon Island and Siquijor Province. North of the city is the town of Bais, where you can hire boats to go whale and dolphin watching.

Dumaguete is a very convenient jump-off point to Siquijor island, an off-the-beaten track type of destination that offers some of the best in rural Philippine experiences. Siquijor surprisingly is visited by many Europeans who are charmed by the simplicity of the islands and the hospitality of its people.

Dumaguete is the up-and-coming "Silicon Valley of the Philippines" due to its newly developed technologically-advanced Teletech BPO centre, part of its growing business park.

For more information and great handling services, contact Orientwind Travel &Tours (201 Flores Avenue, Piapi, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines 6200;
Tel: (+63-35) 4225298 / 4225978 / 2258903 / 2253536; Mobile: +63 9173140267; Email: info@orientwind.com; Website: http://www.orientwind.com/ )

Package of the Month

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Tubbataha Reefs


It is again that time of year again when the Philippines' most exclusive and undoubtedly its best diving location becomes accessible to dive enthusiasts the world over.

Open only from March until June, Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park is one of the most outstanding coral reefs in Southeast Asia. It consists of two coral atolls covering an area of 33,200 hectares and contains a very high density of marine species surpassing any reef of the same size anywhere in the world.

Tubbataha Reefs is vying for inclusion in the new 7 wonders of the world and is currently ranking 7th among 77 candidates.

Liveaboard options to Tubbataha and other exciting Philippine diving destinations are offered by Expedition Fleet Liveaboards (Room 405 Metro Star Building, Metropolitan Avenue, Makati City, Philippines; Tel: (+632) 8906778; Fax: (+632) 7296571; Email: info@cia.com.ph; Website: www.expeditionfleet.com )
For more info click here

Travel Advisory Spotlight

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Salcedo Community Market in Manila's business district

Close to 140 stalls set up each week in a shaded carpark, ready to take its customers - bejeweled socialites, shopping list-toting housewives, families, ex-pats and nearby call-centre workers just off the night shift - on a gastronomic tour of the Philippines. Whether you're in search of rare seasonal produce or pre-prepared specialties from the provinces, a leisurely approach is recommended. Devote a few hours to grazing the market's aisles, people-watching, and sharing sit-down fare at the market's undercover communal tables.

The options at Salcedo are so numerous that even the most enthusiastic eater will be forced to leave some culinary stones unturned - proving that there's a lot more to Philippine food than meets the stomach.

To read more click here

Article of the Month

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Why did I choose to stay in the Philippines

by Howard Belton


BECAUSE of Filipinos, that???s the answer.

Filipinos who made us so welcome from day one and have enriched our lives ever since.

It has been almost 10 years since Cristina and I arrived in Manila. In Unilever, I found a spirit of family way above that in other places, and this wonderful family took us to their hearts and made my business career a joy.

What made it a joy was not just the hard work and spirit of our employees, but their willingness to embrace change and come up with innovations.
For more info click here

DOT News

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DOT Eyes Bird Watching as new Tourism Comeon

To lure new sectors of the widely-segmented international tourism market, Department of Secretary Joseph Ace Durano urged the country???s tourism industry to develop bird watching activities as a new product for tour packages and promotions.

???There are potential bird sites all over the country with several unique bird species and this will be great added attraction to destinations in the Philippines like Cebu,??? Durano told reporters during the recently held ???3rd Trabaho sa Turismo Fair??? in SM City Cebu.

The bird watching market as Durano said are usually composed of wealthy tourists who have the luxury to spend thus also creates a multiplier effect for other tourism-based sub markets such as the hotel and restaurant industry, tour operators, among others.

Potential markets for this particular tourism activity according to Durano are the 8 million bird watchers from the United Kingdom. Tapping even a portion of 10% of this market will bring in a huge number of tourism arrivals in the country, he added.

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