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Philippine Department of Tourism rolls out cruise tourism strategy

Philippine Department of Tourism rolls out cruise tourism strategy

The Department of Tourism (DOT) recently concluded a four-day workshop which brought together key personnel from the government infrastructure agencies, to firm up a cruise tourism strategy for the country.

The MDG on Cruise Tourism makes an inspection visit of Poro Point in San Fernando, La Union, as potential homeport. Eliza Maconocido, Manager for Business Development, Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) briefs the group about the site development plan of the Poro Point Free Port Zone.

The MDG on Cruise Tourism makes an inspection visit of Poro Point in San Fernando, La Union, as potential homeport. Eliza Maconocido, Manager for Business Development, Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) briefs the group about the site development plan of the Poro Point Free Port Zone.

The Cruise Strategy identified developments in the “Turquoise Triangle” linking the popular tourist destinations of Manila, Boracay, and Puerto Princesa in Palawan. The potential for new cruise destinations in the north of Luzon, where ships departing East Asian hubs can arrive after one day at sea, has likewise been pinpointed in the plan.

DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo emphasized, “Once completed, the cruise strategy will pave the way for definitive actions and investments into infrastructure, facilities and services. Clearly, our job is to set up the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. These include enhancement of ship access through the development of port and shore-side infrastructure; facilitation of business entry and offering exciting tour packages, among others. Only then can we draw in the much-needed foreign direct investments to pump-prime the industry. We must surge ahead to build this multi-million dollar travel sector and disperse the economic benefits to the countryside.”

Mr. Thomas E. Blamey, Principal of CHART Management Consultants, points out identified areas as potential ports to strengthen the country’s appeal as a cruise destination.

Mr. Thomas E. Blamey, Principal of CHART Management Consultants, points out identified areas as potential ports to strengthen the country’s appeal as a cruise destination.

Cruise tourism is one of the nine product portfolios identified in the DOT’s National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) that will enhance the competitiveness of the country as a tourist destination in the Asia Pacific region. The other products are nature-based; cultural, sun and beach; MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions); leisure and entertainment; diving and marine sports; health, wellness and retirement; and, educational tourism.

Undersecretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr., who heads the Cruise Tourism Development Committee for the Philippines said that in 2016, the Philippines has attracted just 72 cruise port calls, a relatively small share as compared to the top Asian ports which are Singapore with 374 port calls in 2014 and Jeju Island and Hongkong with 217 and 200, respectively.

DOT Undersecretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr. stresses the importance of convergence to effectively implement the cruise tourism strategy

DOT Undersecretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr. stresses the importance of convergence to effectively implement the cruise tourism strategy

“As a key element of our strategy, we are determined to build new dedicated cruise facilities, most especially in Manila. A superior cruise port and terminal in the capital, with its extensive airlift and ground facilities, will create a compelling reason for large ships to spend time in the Philippines. Once here, they can achieve outstanding port density with efficient cruising speeds. “Future growth in cruise tourism is guaranteed with strong support from the government and private sectors, a highly professional and experienced network of port agents and tour operators, plus growing awareness from major cruise lines of all the Philippine archipelago has to offer” enthused Bengzon.

The draft strategy was presented by CHART Management Consulting. It was commissioned by the United States Agency for Development (USAID) and the DOT to lead a team in undertaking extensive field work, interviews, analysis, and direction. This jumpstarts the series of consultative workshops aimed at formulating action plans to implement the strategy.

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Handy Tips To Make Your Vacation Experience The Best One Yet

If you are planning to embark upon a long overdue and much needed vacation sojourn, there are a few handy tips that you should keep in mind in order to ensure that you end up having a safe, pleasant, and worry free experience.

Whats inside your Luggage
Whats inside your Luggage

Keep in mind these are only a few of the various important details that you need to know in order to make the most of your trip. Always use proper safety precautions when planning for travel, whether within the country or (especially) overseas. Make sure your friends and family members know where you are headed. Continue Reading

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More International Cruise Ships want to dock in Boracay

The Aklan Provincial Government welcomes the initiative of international cruise ship companies to dock in this resort island.

Oceania Cruises
Oceania Cruises

Niven Maquirang, jetty port administrator, said that the United Kingdom-based Oceania Cruises has started selling tickets for its new route. Continue Reading

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Blue Water Cave: Bukidnon’s hidden paradise

For adventurous people who like to smell wood blossoms in the cool fresh mountain air while plunging in a gently flowing cool blue waters, or go into caving or spelunking: Blue Water Cave in this landlocked province of Bukidnon is one perfect place to go.

The 'blue water' cave.
Blue Water Cave photo by :

Municipal town Mayor Gregorio Gue of Quezon said that the local government and a non-government organization (NGO) Kiokong Climbing Society—a non-profit group that now develops the Kiokong Eco-Tourism project here, oversees town visitors’ activities such as trekking and spelunking especially during weekends. Continue Reading

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Posted in Bukidnon, Mindanao, Nature and Adventure0 Comments

Potipot Island, becoming an alternative beach destination

Well within the heart of Central Luzon, Potipot Island, which is just a few minutes boat ride away from Candelaria town, Zambales, is fast becoming the next alternative beach resort for people who want to get out of Metro Manila’s fast pace lifestyle and traffic jam.

Potipot Island in Zambales (photo courtesy of ple101_98 Flickr)
Potipot Island in Zambales (photo courtesy of ple101_98 Flickr)

Well known among the locals for its white sand and clear waters ideal for snorkeling and diving, Potipot Island is just a kilometer away from Uacon, Candelaria and very accessible by “banca” (motorboat) for local and foreign tourists. Continue Reading

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Score great deals at the Big Davao Fun Sale with Cebu Pacific

Those looking for the best shopping deals and fun adventures are in for an exciting treat as the Crown Jewel of Mindanao hosts the first-ever Big Davao Fun Sale from March 14 to April 16, 2014. The event is slated to be the country’s longest and grandest city-wide sale, and aims to establish Davao as a major shopping and dining destination in the Philippines. Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary Art Boncato, Jr. said that the shopping festival aims to elevate the Davao experience even further for tourists. “From highlands to islands, Davao is best known for its beautiful beaches and lush landscapes. Now, we also want the Davao region to be the ultimate shopping and dining destination in the Philippines,” he said. “This is why we partnered with Cebu Pacific, because they have the widest network of domestic routes that fly there.”

Big Davao Fun Sale
Department of Tourism ASec Art Boncato, Jr. talks about the exciting offerings in store for tourists and serious shoppers in the Big Davao Fun Sale.

The country’s leading low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific is the official airline partner of the Big Davao Fun Sale. It offers the lowest year-round fares, starting at PHP878, and the most flights and routes to Davao. This includes the airline’s newest domestic route, direct flights between Davao and Bacolod. “Davao has incredible natural wonders and eco-adventure attractions. Coupled with the Big Davao Fun Sale which showcases Davao’s various shopping and dining options, travelers can get the best of both worlds. This month-long event is the perfect opportunity for everyJuan to visit Davao and sample all of these,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific Vice President for Marketing and Distribution.

“With our trademark lowest fares and multiple flight options, thrill-seeking shoppers and adventurers can spend less on airfare, so they can splurge on the city’s great deals, amazing discounts and memorable experiences,” she added.

Four weeks of fantastic finds. Davao City’s major malls will offer a host of unique activities, fab freebies, fun parties and exciting incentives all month long. Tourists can also score as much as 80% discount at the Robinsons Cybergate Davao, Abreeza-Ayala Mall, Gaisano Grand Mall, Gaisano Mall of Davao, NCCC Mall, SM City Davao and SM Lanang Premier. The Big Davao Fun Sale will also host a series of weekly themed sales, starting with a general city-wide merchandise sale from March 14 to 16. This will be followed by health and beauty products from March 16 to 23, electronics and gadgets from March 24 to 30, home and travel items from March 31 to April 6, and active lifestyle and fashion on April 7 to 16. Shoppers can also win P100,000 in cash, a weekend getaway for two, and other exciting prizes in a raffle draw. To join, all they have to do is get a Fun Sale Passport at any DOT booth or at participating malls by presenting their boarding pass or P500 worth of single or accumulated one-day receipts from partner merchants.

Fun Sale Passport holders can earn stamps every time they purchase P500 worth of merchandise. Passports bearing stamps of all seven (7) participating malls will serve as a raffle entry and can also be exchanged for a free shirt. The Restaurant Association of Davao will also hold a food festival with more than 100 dining establishments, allowing food lovers to get a taste of the city’s best eats and tastiest treats.

The Big Davao Fun Sale is a project of the Department of Tourism XI, Davao City government and participating malls, with the endorsement of the Philippine Retailers Association and the support of the Restaurant Association of Davao and the Davao Tourism Association.

Cebu Pacific flies to Davao from Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Puerto Princesa, Dipolog, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro. For flights and fares to Davao, visit or call +632-7020-888.

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Philippines receives support from international tourism bodies

The Department of Tourism (DOT) expresses its sincere appreciation to the outpouring of messages and support from partners in the international travel community such as the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for the Filipino people affected by the recent Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan).

Philippine Department of Tourism
Philippine Department of Tourism

In a press release posted on their website, UNWTO expressed readiness to support the Philippines in any tourism-related recovery program for the affected areas and called for support by contributing to the ongoing relief efforts of the various United Nations (UN) agencies operating on the ground. The UNWTO, as the leading international organization in the field of tourism, is the UN agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism. Continue Reading

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The Philippine Department of Tourism implements New National Accommodation Standards

The Department of Tourism (DOT) will be implementing its new National Accommodation Standards for Hotels, Resorts, and Apartment Hotels using the Star Rating System. The new standards employ a points-based rating system focused on inventory, availability, condition, and quality of a specific facility or service.

Big Room“The new standards seek to boost industry competitiveness, especially in preparation for important events such as the World Competitiveness Forum next year, APEC in 2015, and the ASEAN Tourism Forum in 2016. On the initial implementation of the new standards and star rating system for classifying hotels, resorts, and apartment hotels, the DOT shall be engaging the services of a private quality assurance firm that will consequently tap external auditors to conduct the assessment. The use of a third party auditing firm is aimed at ensuring impartiality of the audit team and credibility of results. Most developed countries employ this scheme as independent audits are deemed more credible,” DOT Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said.

Launched last year through the DOT Memorandum Circular 2012-02, the new standards is part of the DOT’s policy reforms pursuant to the provisions of the Tourism Act of 2009, which mandates the DOT to formulate and enforce standards for the operation and maintenance of tourism enterprises, prescribing minimum and progressive levels of operating quality and efficiency consistent with local and international standards. The Tourism Act also provides for the development and enforcement of a comprehensive system for mandatory accreditation for primary tourism enterprises, and voluntary accreditation for secondary tourism enterprises, in accordance with prescribed guidelines and standards. Continue Reading

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Posted in Hotels, Philippine Travel News0 Comments

Top travel photography tips for frequent travelers

Every place has its own uniqueness and ethereal value with respect to its geographical and historical presence. They have their own character, look, ambiance, beauty etc. If we wish to have our photographs of the travel to be marvellous and everlasting, then they should be captured with perfect quality.

travel photographyThe only aspect is that the user should be aware of the nitty-gritties of their cameras, which will let them click great pictures seamlessly and cherish them for longer period of time. There are few remarkable digital cameras which shoot high quality pictures of the nature or faces around.

It’s highly unlikely that each and every event which occurred in your life could be remembered in the same sequence as it occurred. To capture the most memorable events which occurred in your life, you can always rely on the wonderful snaps which you were able to capture when they occurred. Photographs should be able to trigger the wonderful and marvellous memories, communicate the feelings you felt with others etc. For doing this, we need to have a thought process in place and plan the different aspects of a complete photograph. Continue Reading

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Camarines Sur reshapes Bicol tourism

Time was when Bicol had nothing to offer in terms of tourism but Mt. Mayon, the majestic Albay icon known as the “World’s Most Perfect Cone”.

Gota Beach
Gota Beach

Today, a great number of destinations had been developed and emerging as global tourist magnets, among them the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC), a unique man-made watersports park designed for wakeboarding, wakeskating and waterskiing. Continue Reading

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