WOW Philippines E-Newsletter - December 2008

It has been a highly impressive year for Philippines Tourism, as we are expecting record arrivals this year from the United Kingdom even admist the global economic slowdown. This is due to our constant drive to pursue innovative projects, numerous successful trade shows and exhibitions, and relentless media exposures and we thank you for all your support.

Special to this issue, we recall our successful participation in the recently concluded Dive Show in Birmingham and the prestigious World Travel Market. Moreover, we also share with you the triumphant launch of the Birdwatching Campaign in the UK.

Furthermore, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Featured Destination of the Month
  Package of the Month
  DOT News
  Article of the Month

Major Programs

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Dive Philippines

"The Philippines has more than 7,100 islands for diving," goes the opening spiel of the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) to visitors of the recently concluded Birmingham Dive Show held at UK???s second largest city.

Top two on the most anticipated dive exhibitions in the world, the Birmingham Dive Show attracts more than 50,000 visitors each year, and 60 exhibitors from the UK and all throughout Europe.

Read more click here

World Travel Market 2008


It was a busy week for PDOT last November 10-13 with their major event for the last quarter - the World Travel Market. This year, PDOT is proud to announce that the country???s participation in the WTM is by far its biggest. With a booth size of 145 square meters, 18 exhibiting private sector companies were able to showcase their travel services to the Philippines ???ǣ from adventure tour packages to luxury spa getaways.

The booth had an overall professional look, adorned with soft, tropical touches, making it feel like a meeting place in a cosy garden. With a mini waterfall as its main piece, adorned with purple orchids, and lined with native furniture, the booth was light, airy and refreshing; attracting the visitors of the travel fair. Information about the Philippines was easily available with the ongoing audio visual presentation, brochures of key destinations, diving in the Philippines booklets, and many more.

This year???s WTM had a 12% increase in attendance with visitors ranging from Meridian Club members, travel trade professionals, ministers, press, and students. It was a good opportunity for members of the travel industry to build contacts; find new business ideas; and ascertain ways to secure their businesses in the next year.

The event was an overall success since the World Travel Market is one of the best venues to network with various companies in the travel industry and of course the perfect place to position the country as a dynamic destination at par with the other exciting destinations of the world.

Birdwatching Philippines

Anybody who thinks bird watching is, well, for the birds, will probably change his mind after listening to Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano praise the merits of this activity and explain why it is a good come-on for visitors to come to the Philippines.

???We Filipinos don???t know how blessed we are in terms of the number of bird species we have in the country. We have 600 bird species, 200 of those endemic,??? he says at the launch, last Tuesday, of the country???s latest tourism campaign in London. ???The Philippines has the highest concentration of bird species in the world per square kilometer and we didn???t know this until it was pointed out by several bird watching groups.???

Read more click here

Featured Destination of the Month

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Mandala Spa and Villas Boracay


Mandala Spa and Villas Boracay, the multi-awarded Filipino destination spa, has received seven nominations for the prestigious Baccarat Asia Spa Awards (BASA 2008). Touted as the Oscars of the Spa industry, BASA set out to recognize spas that push the boundaries and advance the wellness industry.

It is easy to see why they are getting all this recognition - Mandala Spa and Villas Boracay has been in the industry long enough to understand the many facets of wellbeing. Each treatment is, above all, a healing and rejuvenating process carefully crafted by wellness specialists from various fields.

Reading their menu of services, it is right away apparent that Mandala is different from the rest. You can already tell that they are serious with finding the best treatment for their clients. With the range of treatments that fuse the best of different cultures, it is clear that these people have done their research, with the sole intention of making their clients feel alive. Moreover, there is this underlying notion of holism in all of their packages which is an indication of their seriousness in making their clients realize their full wellbeing. Quickly reading through their list of offerings, there is this sense of trust that they know what they???re doing and that they will not only treat a back-ache but also give your soul a sense of flight.

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For more info click here

Package of the Month

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Water Journey

Surrender yourself to total well being in our featured destination this month, Mandala Spa and Villas in Boracay. Fluid, refreshing and totally essential, water is all the rave in the wellness trade today. Indulge in water???s healing properties through Mandala???s ???Water Journey.??? This package includes the experience of the Water Dance or Watsu, Mandala???s signature massage and the legendary floral bath. Click on the link for more information and treat yourself to the wonders of water.

For more info click here

DOT News

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New 7 Wonders Update: Puerto Princesa river at no. 1


After dropping down to top 20 last month, the Philippines??? 4 candidates for the New 7 Wonders of Nature are currently showing a strong presence, landing on the top 11 live online ranking of 77 nominees from around the globe. As of September 29 4am, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is at no. 1, Chocolate Hills is at no. 4, closely followed by Tubbataha Reef at no. 5 while Mayon Volcano is at no. 11.

The New 7 Wonders of Nature is an ongoing campaign sponsored by the New 7 Wonders Foundation based in Switzerland. The same group initiated the New 7 Wonders of the World project last year, wherein 7 new sites were officially chosen after a successful poll which posted 100 million international votes.

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For more info click here

Article of the Month

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Philippine Luxury Yatch Introduced in UK Dive Show

Renowned British dive yacht operator Worldwide Dive and Sail introduced the S/Y Philippine Siren, its newest and biggest liveaboard vessel, to the European dive market at the recently held Dive Birmingham Show.

Owned and managed by experienced divers and sailors, Mark Shandur, Frank Van Der Linde, Steve Wessel and Brett Robertson, the S/Y Philippine Siren starts sailing in November 2009, covering dive site routes of South Visayas from Mactan to Apo Island, Southern Leyte to Bohol, Boracay via Apo Reef to the wrecks of Coron and Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park.

???These are just start-up dive site packages. The UK market is aware of the uniqueness and diversity of our waters. We offer reefs, drift dives, wrecks, coral gardens, night diving, caves, big and small fish ???ǣ no other country can offer more than 7,100 islands,??? said Ace Durano, Secretary of Tourism.

Read more click here

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