Archive | February, 2018

January Philippine tourist arrivals hit all-time high

The Philippines’ tourism industry is off to a promising year, as monthly visitor arrivals hit all-time high of 732,506 in January, based on the latest data disclosed by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

DOT officials credited the impressive figure, indicating a 15.97 percent from January last year, to the concerted efforts of “Team DOT,” the stakeholder travel and tour operators, and the ever-hospitable Filipino community.

Samal Island

Samal Island

The figures gathered by the DOT Tourism Research and Statistics Division, Office of Tourism Planning, showed that a significant factor is the influx of Chinese tourists, as well as the continued arrivals en masse of Koreans, still the no. 1 visitor market.
The South Koreans’ 198,145 arrivals reflect an impressive 28.36 percent rise from January 2017 while the Chinese arrivals of 111,344 indicate a 29.55 percent increase from the same period last year.

“This welcome news bodes well for the tourism sector and the government’s efforts to boost the tourism industry, which is among the top contributors to our gross domestic product,” said Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo.

“Last year’s momentum carried over this year with the improved air connectivity via increased flights between Philippine gateways and various airports in major visitor markets, including China, Korea, the United States, Australia and Canada,” added Teo.

Recently, Xiamen Airlines mounted a three-times-a-week commercial direct-flight services between Fuzhou, China to Kalibo, Aklan and Puerto Princesa, using Airbus A321 with 197 seat capacity.

“Another new route from China that our Route Development Team is working on is the Tiajin (TJN)-Puerto Princesa (PPS). The development of new routes is in consonance with our National Tourism Development Plan’s strategy to upgrade air connectivity from major tourist source markets to the Philippines,” said Teo.

Also posting a double-digit growth from January 2017 is the United States with visitor arrivals of 109,154 (14.90 percent growth) while Japan contributed with 57,038 (7.79 percent growth), and Australia with 30,924 arrivals (4.41 percent growth).
Other arrivals that improved in January 2018 compared to the same period last year are Canada, 28,913; Taiwan, 18,948; United Kingdom, 18,111; India, 13,779; Singapore (13,627); Malaysia, 12,012; and Hongkong, 9,284.

“I am confident that with the combined efforts of the DOT and the stakeholders, we will achieve our 7.5 million target international arrivals in 2018,” said Teo.

Posted in Philippine Travel News0 Comments

DOT challenges cities to be as ‘creative’ as Baguio City

BAGUIO CREATIVE CITY – The Department of Tourism (DOT) urged other cities to intensify its creativity as Baguio City made headway being named one of the 64 new cities included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network (UCCN).

DOT-CAR Regional Director Marie Venus Tan (second from left), UNESCO Philippines Secretary-General Lilia Ramos-Shahani (third from left), and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan (fourth from left) led the ribbon cutting of the Creative Baguio, an exhibition hub showcase of crafts and folk arts

DOT-CAR Regional Director Marie Venus Tan (second from left), UNESCO Philippines Secretary-General Lilia Ramos-Shahani (third from left), and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan (fourth from left) led the ribbon cutting of the Creative Baguio, an exhibition hub showcase of crafts and folk arts

“We challenge other cities to be more creative. Baguio City is the first and hopefully there will be second, third, and more cities that will be recognized by UNESCO in the creative arts and other fields of the recognition,” Tourism Undersecretary Marco Bautista said during the unveiling of the Baguio City Creative Hub at the Malcolm Square, popularly known as the People’s Park.

The UCCN is now composed of 180 members from 72 countries covering seven creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts. Baguio is the first Philippine city to be chosen for the elite list and the 5th in Southeast Asia.

The other ASEAN cities in the network are Chiang Mai, and Phuket, Thailand for crafts and folk art and gastronomy, respectively, Singapore for design, and Pakalongan and Badung, Indonesia, both for crafts and folk art.

Copper wire figurines portraying the different members of the Igorot tribes

Copper wire figurines portraying the different members of the Igorot tribes

“One of UNESCO’s objective in establishing this kind of network is for different cities to learn from each other and learn how tourism, culture, and creativity can drive the economy,” Undersecretary Bautista added.

Baguio City Creative Council (BCC) Chair Adelaida Lim shared that the recognition is going to be beneficial to the city’s economy as it creates more jobs and inspires the younger generation to continue the traditional crafts and folk art.

“This endeavor will definitely provide more opportunities for Baguio’s creative community to be recognized at a wider scale. We anticipate the formalization of the BCCC as a means to strengthen the legal framework and institutionalize the roles of various stakeholders,” UNESCO Philippines Secretary-General Lilia Ramos-Shahani said.

The Baguio City Creative Hub, which is one of the highlights of the 23rd Panagbenga Festival, exhibits around twenty booths featuring weaving, basketry, jewelry, painting, and visual arts products from Baguio and the Cordillera artisans.

Local artists doing their best interpretation of the model at the visual arts booth of the Creative Baguio Exhibition Hub

Local artists doing their best interpretation of the model at the visual arts booth of the Creative Baguio Exhibition Hub

“As a matter of fact, DOT- Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) headed by Regional Director Marie Venus Tan is very aggressive in promoting the UNESCO designation. Hopefully, there would be a new invigorated interest in our local handicrafts and folk arts so that we can also help in the livelihood of our artisans and the artists,” BCCC member Alec Mapalo stated.

According to DOT-CAR, Baguio City recorded 1,521,748 tourist arrivals last year for a 17.52% increase from 2016’s 1,294,906 with an average length of stay of two nights.

Americans remained the top tourist source market of the City of Pines followed by the Koreans then the Chinese. Japanese and Singaporeans complete the top five markets of the city in 2017.

Baguio Creative City official logo: National Artist Benedicto Cabrera based the logo on a traditional Cordillera design for mountains with the colors of the middle mountain range inspired by the Philippine flag

Baguio Creative City official logo: National Artist Benedicto Cabrera based the logo on a traditional Cordillera design for mountains with the colors of the middle mountain range inspired by the Philippine flag

The Baguio Creative City official logo was also revealed, which was rendered by National Artist for Painting Benedicto Cabrera, popularly known as BenCab.

The Baguio City Creative Hub runs from February 11-24.

Posted in Featured, Philippine Travel News0 Comments

Romantic Indulgence at Flow Spa

Nothing beats celebrating love and its magic with an intimate and indulgent escape to tranquillity as Flow Spa brings a full wellness treatment special this love month.

Flow Spa

Flow Spa

A garden of serenity and relaxation, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Flow Spa offers a variety of treatments from foot reflexology, whole-body massages and rejuvenating facials by the brand Algotherm, a marine-based line from France which utilizes seaweed extracts and other marine ingredients. It is located at the heart of the hotel’s Flow Wellness and Recreation Center which also includes a fitness center and an infinity pool. The spa features a welcoming reception and a relaxing lounge, two double rooms and one single room.

Romantic evening cocktails at Continental Club Lounge

Romantic evening cocktails at Continental Club Lounge

Have a bliss with Flow Spa’s indulgent treatment package this February, which features a 30-minute body scrub and 60-minute Swedish or Combination Massage. Enjoy drinks high above the city with a romantic evening cocktail, with unlimited wine, local beer, juices, and cocktails, and heavy appetizers, to complete the night, at the Continental Club Lounge. This whole package is available at 8,600 for two persons until the 28th of February.

Flow Spa Reception

Flow Spa Reception

Flow Spa is located at the 22nd floor of Forbes Five-Star Award Winner, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila (check rates), with its treatments starting at Php 1,800. Flow Spa is not exclusive to the Hotel’s in-house guests. Flow Spa is open daily from 08:00 AM to 12:00 MN, or until 02:00 AM for in-room treatments. For more information contact (632) 720 7777 or book online via www.marcopolohotels.com or email: manila@marcopolohotels.com. Visit facebook.com/MarcoPoloOrtigasManila or follow @MarcoPoloManila on Twitter or
Instagram.

Posted in Health and Wellness0 Comments

Wharf Hotels Introduces Chinese New Year Offers To Welcome The Year of The Dog

To welcome the auspicious Year of the Dog, Wharf Hotels has launched two new offers across fifteen of its Niccolo and Marco Polo Hotels in China, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Sky Lobby

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Sky Lobby

Offers for both brands include extra benefits so guests may experience new getaways and discover vibrant destinations in style.

At Marco Polo Hotels (Check Manila Rates), guests may enjoy enticing perks in celebration of the New Year including:

  • Buffet Breakfast for two
  • Early check-in and late check-out
  • 50% off the 2nd consecutive night, for guests born in the Year of the Dog
  • A complimentary room upgrade for a minimum of 3 consecutive nights stay
  • 30% off for a second room booking
  • New year treats to enjoy this season

Bookings for Marco Polo hotels in the popular destinations of Beijing, Cebu, Davao, Hong Kong, Changzhou, Foshan, Jinjiang, Manila, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Xiamen, may be made at marcopolohotels.com.

Marco Polo Manila Deluxe Room

Marco Polo Manila Deluxe Room

Cucina Breakfast

Cucina Breakfast

To know more about Marco Polo Ortigas Manila (check rates), visit www.marcopolohotels.com. Follow the Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award Winner, on Facebook at facebook.com/MarcoPoloOrtigasManila or @MarcoPoloManila on Twitter or Instagram.

Posted in Hotels0 Comments


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