Philippines E-Newsletter - April 2009

The first quarter of the year is now over and the Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) London is proud to announce its successful participation in over a dozen travel and trade shows across the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia.

At these shows, the Philippines' upheld its position as a prime holiday destination that continue to attract visitors from all over the globe.

In this issue:

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

Major Programs


FILIPINAS Enthrals the Spanish Divers

PDOT exhibited at the fair for the first time and arguably became the biggest attraction of the entire show. The 40-square metre booth was located right at the centre of the exhibition hall and was the only one to have a free-standing prefabricated set-up. It was the most impressive stand rightfully announcing the Philippines as a diving paradise to all the visitors. The “FILIPINAS” brand along with the keywords of “Exotismo, Diversidad and Encanto” were displayed on giant rafters with a backdrop of massive images of diving in the Philippines.

Tour Operators at the Philippines booth namely Buceo Filipinas and Abando Dive Travel both reported direct bookings and numerous inquiries from visitors intent on travelling to the country later in the year. Resorts from the likes of Sirangan Beach Resort, Atlantis Dive Resort and The Ananyana received numerous queries while also meeting key dive operators at the show for inclusion in their packages.

During the show a live broadcast on FM106.6 and two seminars were conducted by Miguel Mercadal of Trotaumundos, Radio Estel together with Philippine Consul General Ed de Vega. They highlighted the dive sites of the country during their recent visit of Radio Estel to Coron, Balicasag and Dumaguete and acclaimed that these were more magnificent and diverse than their previous dive experiences in other countries.

The Philippines booth also appeared prominently on news features about the exhibition on television stations such as Televisio de Catalunya (, the biggest TV studio in the Catalan region and L Hospitalet de Llobregat TV ( The booth was also visited by Cornella mayor Antoni Balmon and Catalan Agriculture Secretary Xavier Castella and they acknowledged it as the largest and most beautiful stand at the fair.

Philippines participates at the leading Scandinavian Trade Fair

TUR (26-29 March) Gothenburg, Sweden

The Philippines participated in TUR - Scandinavia’s largest travel and tourism trade fair, organized by the Swedish Exhibition Centre in Goteborg, Sweden, 19-22 March 2009. The 28-square metre booth was strategically located right at the Entrance A making the Philippine stand a lot more visible.

The private sector delegates such as Badian Island Resort and Spa, Filtravel and Tropics Travel and Tours were satisfied with the business contacts and actual bookings made during the trade show.

The latest welcome development is the entry to the Philippine shores of the MY Hans Christian Andersen ‘Adventure Cruise’ offering not only luxury but a relaxing holiday atmosphere around Puerto Galera and Coron as well as the Central Visayas.

Another encouraging news is the return of Stockholm-based Thomas Cook to the country. Their Contracts Manager is now in the Philippines for a 2-week ocular inspection of the various destinations to be featured in their programme.

PDOT London is likewise pushing birdwatching as well as adventure tours as Scandinavia signals its interest to this activity.

Good media exposure came on TUR days when the SVT TV has been plugging the ‘Robinson’s Experience’ in El Nido, Palawan on Channel 4, from 18 to March. The positive article also appeared in one of the major Swedish national dailies Aftonbladet.

HR TV News came to the booth for a short interview.

The Philippines Further Intensifies its hold on the UK Diving Market

The Philippines has strengthened its presence as the prime dive destination in the UK with its participation at the London International Dive Show. Immediately upon entering the hall, visitors are greeted with an imposing 5 metre high Philippine exhibition, decorated with massive striking underwater images of coral reefs, clown fishes and various dive sites of the country. Numerous flora dotted the Philippine booth including orchids and coconut trees successfully depicting the warmth of the destination.

“This the sixth consecutive year that the Philippines has been participating at the Dive Show and the our position in the UK dive market is now stronger than ever. This is directly evident by the number of dive operators actively selling the Philippines as one of their core destinations,” declares Tourism Attaché Chicoy Enerio.

The exhibit was participated in by UK-based tour operators, such as Go Dive, Holiday Treasures and Skylord Travel, all vigorously promoting their best “show offers” to fascinated divers. Popular Philippine dive spots like Puerto Galera, Sorsogon were also represented by Marco Vincent Dive Resort and Sirangan Beach Resort respectively. “The trend we are seeing at the show is that more and more divers are booking their dive holidays to the Philippines within the next weeks months rather than months later due to the current financial climate,” describes Robert Blake of Go Dive. Expectedly, a greater percentage of the inquiries compared to previous years were from divers who have previously been to the Philippines not once, but for a couple of times already. Some have even been to the same destinations, like Coron or Puerto Galera numerous times.

In addition, the most luxurious prize offered during the entire Dive Show was a ten day trip for two aboard the Philippine Siren to any destination in the Philippines worth more than GBP6,500.00 care of Worldwide Dive and Sail and Skylord Travel. Winner Steve Smith was ecstatic when Chicoy and Mark Shandur of Worldwide Dive and Sail rang him on his mobile to congratulate him after his entry was drawn. Consolation prizes offered were 4-day / 3-night stay in Marco Vincent Dive Resort and Bahura Resort and Spa including dives, transfers and some meals. Winners are Ray Shackleton and James Carono respectively.

Destination of the Month


Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and Sabang Beach

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located 50 kilometers north of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines.

It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with the longest navigable undergound river at 8.2 kilometres. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences. The underground river is reputed to be the world's longest.

The area also represents a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full mountain-to-the-sea ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia.

The stepping stone to reach the Underground River is a long white-sand strip called Sabang Beach where the pumpboats depart.

Package of the Month


Palawan, Philippines Tailor Made by Audley

Audley Travel are specialists in tailor-made individual itineraries for discerning travellers seeking authentic experiences in the Philippines.

Palawan is one of the top featured destinations in the country, with itineraries ensuring that travellers get to experience all the worthwhile attractions including the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Travellers could customize their trip by setting aside time to explore the city of Manila and its surroundings or combining additional destinations such as Bohol, Cebu or Banaue.

For more info click here

DOT News


The 8th Celebrate the Sea Festival 2009

12 - 14 June, Manila Ocean Park, Philippines

Announcing the Biggest Event of the Ocean in Asia Pacific...

Now on its 8th year, the Celebrate the Sea Festival is confirmed for Manila this June with the added fervour of being the 2nd Official Celebrate the Sea Day in the Philippines.

Adding to the highlights of the year's activities is the Mardi Gras-like event of the ocean's flora and fauna which will be gaily symbolised and paraded by participants from all the provinces of the Philippines. "This is the first ever mardi gras-like event of the sea that will be filled with music and dancing in the streets of Roxas Boulevard, to the sould and rhythmic beat of the unique spirit of the Filipino people, that never fails to leave a fun-filled and lasting memory," assured undersecretary, Cynthia Carrion. Confirmed to attend the 2009 festival are international luminaries and underwater photography legends from National Geographic, David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes, BBC's Blue Planet and Planet Earth Cinematographer Peter Scoone, deep sea explorer Phil Nyutten Phd., coral spawning discoverer Carden Wallace Phd. plus associates of the Ocean Geographic Society.

Celebrate the Sea has seen the greatest increase in competitors since its inception in 2002 with over 5,500 entries from 38 countries in 2008. The 2009 festival is designed to be bigger and bolder than ever before. The 2009 festival is destined to be bigger and bolder than ever before. The main venue for the 3-day festival from 12 - 14 June is once again, the Manila Ocean Park.
For more info click here

Families Given the Opportunity to Experience a Once in a Lifetime Conservation Expedition in the Philippines

Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) Expeditions are now offering families and groups the perfect responsible excursion retreat. This newborn idea targets those willing to commit to a whole fresh trend of unique holidaying; contributing to coral reef and rainforest conservation whilst enjoying the tranquility of a remote tropical haven.

CCC is inviting families, dive clubs, and likeminded groups together and head off to the perfect island escape hidden amongst the Philippines' 7,107 islands.

Danjugan Island is a small sparely populated island blanketed in lush sub‐tropical rainforest that’s surrounded by a rich and diverse marine wilderness of the Philippines. Protected by the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc (PRRCRI) this nature’s sanctuary offers professionally managed
expeditions from 7 to 14 days for groups of up to 20. Guided diving, trekking, science courses, personal luxury yacht cruises, cultural exchange and environmentally friendly facilities.

CCC is an award‐winning not‐for‐profit organisation that is invited by local NGOs to help alleviate poverty through the protection, restoration and management of coral reefs and tropical forests.

For more info click here

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