Tag Archive | "philippines"

Mt. Carmel traslacion highlights Philippine faith tourism

(Manila, Philippines) – Filipino religious traditions and devotional practices around this predominantly Catholic country are increasingly attracting international and domestic tourists, according to the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (PDOT).

During the procession at the Quirino Grandstand.

During the procession at the Quirino Grandstand.

This was demonstrated recently when over 7,000 Catholic faithful joined the 4-kilometer procession from the Quirino Grandstand to San Sebastian Basilica to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel de Sebastian arrival to the Philippines.

During Friday’s celebration, Marian devotee Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo welcomed the image of Mt. Carmel which arrived at 5:00 am on Friday at the Manila Bay.

The traslacion started at 8:30 am from Quirino Grandstand and passed through Quiapo Church before it was greeted with fireworks as it arrived at San Sebastian Basilica at 11:00 am.

The image was a gift from the Discalced Carmelite Nuns from San Jose Monastery in Mexico City and was brought to the Philippines by the third group of Augustinian Recollect Missionaries on May 4, 1618.

The image was first enshrined at the Recollect Church of San Juan de Bagumbayan. Later, in 1621, it was enshrined at San Sebastian Basilica.

According to Teo, the Marian celebration is a good indication that faith-based tourism destination contribute significantly in the country’s tourism industry.

“Filipinos find comfort to the image of Mt. Carmel and it is a beautiful scene to witness. In addition to the scenic sites of centuries-old churches all over the country, our devotional practices are attracting more and more faith-based tourists,” Teo added.

Rev. Fr. Robin Plata, one of the event organizers, said that Filipinos must be reminded that we have a Mother, under the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, who always guide us under her maternal protection.

“As a mother, she intercedes for her children and even gave a promise that whoever wears the brown scapular will not suffer hell at the hour of death,” said Fr. Plata.

The image was greeted with fireworks as it arrived at San Sebastian Basilica. Faith Tourism Philippines

The image was greeted with fireworks as it arrived at San Sebastian Basilica. Faith Tourism Philippines

Lolei Omongos, a devotee from Iligan City said she traveled 36 hours by sea to get to Manila to witness the celebration.
“Iba ang pakiramdam ng makita ang imahe ng mahal na ina, nararamdaman ko yung peace sa puso ko. Di ko alintana yung mahabang byahe at gastos,” she said.

Meanwhile, Plata thanked the DOT for promoting the faith-based tourism in the country.

“It is a good avenue to promote our rich religious culture. Our faith as Christians really gave us the iconic places and memorials that we have that will attract pilgrims and tourists,” he said.

Also Read: DOT challenges cities to be as ‘creative’ as Baguio City

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First quarter tourist arrivals in PH breach 2M, Chinese tourists close in on Koreans

(Manila, Philippines) International tourist arrivals for the first quarter of 2018 reached another milestone breaching the two million mark according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

“We already welcomed over two million foreign guests to the Philippines in just three months compared to last year when it took four months or until April to reach two million,” DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said.

Tourism statistics tallied 2,049,094 international visitors for the first quarter of the year, which is 14.80 percent higher compared to 1,784,882 for the same period in 2017.

“For the first quarter, it has been a tight contest between the Chinese and the Koreans. In fact, these two key markets, together with the Americans, already comprise more than half our tourist arrivals,” Teo added.



From the more than 86,000 gap between the Korean and Chinese tourist arrivals in January, the Chinese closed the margin to just 7,838 in March, on a per month basis comparison.

The Chinese remains the fastest growing market with 114,549 visitors for the month of March, at a remarkable 50.42 percent growth rate compared with the Koreans at 122,387.

First quarter Chinese travelers garnered 371,429 arrivals (54.53%) trailing behind the Koreans at 477,087 (8.22%) for the first three months of the year.

Not to be outdone, American tourists ranked third with 284,946 (10.44%), followed by the Japanese at 181,178 (8.98%), and Australians at 74,027 (10.81%).

Included in the top twelve tourist source markets are Canada, 70,501 (15.88%); Taiwan, 59,877 (-7.73%); United Kingdom, 56,521 (19.36%); Singapore, 44,398 (9.91%); Malaysia, 37,090 (7.79%); Hongkong, 36,777 (41.88%); and India, 32,999 (22.65%).

”Our target for the Chinese arrivals this year remains at 1.5 million as we strive for more quality tourists who spend more in the country,” Teo shared, also recalling the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Barometer, which named the Chinese tourists as the world’s top tourism spenders for 2017.

Said report cited that China spent the most at USD258 billion followed by America at USD135 billion, Germany at USD84 billion, the United Kingdom at USD63 billion, and France at USD41 billion.

On the other hand, Chinese tourists in the country spent almost USD50 per day with an average length of stay of 6.24 nights last year according to the DOT Annual Visitor Sample Survey 2017.

Shopping, sightseeing, and nature and adventure were the usual activities of the Chinese travelers.

Chinese vacationers spent most at department stores, souvenir and curio shops buying food delicacies, apparel, textile and garments, arts and crafts.

Also Read: Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) leads #SaveBoracay clean-up drive

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Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) leads #SaveBoracay clean-up drive

BORACAY, AKLAN – On the first day of the Boracay rehabilitation, the Department of Tourism (DOT) led the first wave of clean-up drive along the stretch of Bulabog Beach as part of #SaveBoracay rehabilitation efforts.

Over 200 volunteers participated in the clean-up of the Bulabog Beach, the kite boarding and windsurfing playground of Boracay #SaveBoracay

Over 200 volunteers participated in the clean-up of the Bulabog Beach, the kite boarding and windsurfing playground of Boracay #SaveBoracay

More than 200 volunteers arrive from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)’s Environmental Management Bureau, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies Boracay chapter, Caticlan Airport, resort employees and informal workers.

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DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo got down on the ground to join the hundred of volunteers.

“The simple acts of throwing your trash properly and picking up rubbish you see goes along way as we go all out in rehabilitating Boracay,” said Teo.

The world’s best island according to Condé Nast Traveler, has temporarily closed its doors to tourists starting April 26 upon Proclamation No. 475 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte declaring the state of calamity of barangays Balabag, Manoc-manoc, and Yapak.

Volunteers from Brgy. Balabag, Southwest Travel and Tours, and employees of other government agencies also helped out during the clean-up.

According to DOT VI Regional Director Atty. Helen Catalbas, the Department thru the regional office is working double time on the plans laid out for the island and the region.

Among the plans are the launching of cruise tourism in other parts of Western Visayas Region, repair and repainting of pumpboats, accreditation campaign for compliant establishment, and massive training program.

Boracay White Beach on the first day of the closure

Boracay White Beach on the first day of the closure

Various training and seminar includes modules for local guiding, foreign language for Mandarin and Korean, international standards for hospitality service, tourist police, kulinarya training for rural community, tourist security and safety seminar, UNESCO World Heritage site guiding and preservation, tourist destination website development and upgrading, first aid and basic life support, disaster risk reduction management, tourism renovation and self-reinvention, safety and emergency response, and festival management.

Over 5,000 thank you cards were also handed out to local and foreign tourists leaving the island.

Also Read: Philippine Department of Tourism pursues alternative livelihood during Boracay ‘upgrading’

Posted in Aklan, Philippine Travel NewsComments (0)

The Arabian Travel Mart (ATM) in Dubai to showcase the Philippines as wellness hub

The Arabian Travel Mart (ATM) in Dubai, known as the biggest annual travel fair in the Middle East, will showcase the Philippines’ health and wellness attractions next week.

The Philippines as a Wellness Hub

A delegation from the Department of Tourism (DOT), Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and Philippine operators will represent the country at the ATM to be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center on April 22-25, 2018.

The Arabian Travel Mart (ATM) in Dubai to showcase the Philippines as wellness hub??

The Arabian Travel Mart (ATM) in Dubai to showcase the Philippines as wellness hub

“Although the Philippines has long been attracting visitors from all over the world because of its pristine beaches and dive sites, it is yet to be known as a health and wellness destination. The Arabian Travel Market is the perfect venue for promoting the Philippine destinations where tourists can visit to relax and rejuvenate themselves,” said DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo.

Aside from putting up a Philippine pavilion at the event where some of country’s top health and wellness attractions will take center stage, the DOT and TPB will also hold business-to-business (B2B) sessions where Dubai tour operators can meet with the country’s tour operators including from the health and wellness providers to discuss possible business partnerships.

Now on its 22nd year, the ATM attracts over 30,000 visitors from the Middle East, Europe and other regions every year. More than 3,000 products and destinations from around the world are highlighted in the four-day event, including B2B meetings that result in the signing of more than US$2.5 billion worth of deals.

“The health and wellness tourism industry is a US3.7-trillion global business. As an emerging health and wellness tourism destination with a huge potential to become a global leader, the Philippines certainly has a lot of investment and business opportunities to offer,” said Roberto P. Alabado III, director of DOT’s Medical Travel and Wellness Tourism Office.

Posted in Health and WellnessComments (0)

The Philippines: The Other Melting Pot

Americans tend to think of the states as the ultimate melting pot of cultures; what started as a British colony is now a rich chunky stew of virtually every ethnicity of the world. Most would like to think we are a unique happenstance, but a truly unexpected culture formed on the Indonesian archipelago. Over 7,000 islands, collectively known as the great country of the Philippines, have a distinct Eastern culture seamlessly blended with a thick Western influence.

Tamaraw Falls in Puerto Galera
Tamaraw Falls in Puerto Galera

Because of the colonization of the world by Europe, the Philippines became another melting pot of cultures similar to the United States. With its own rich cultural traditions, Club Med worthy beaches and coastal areas, and expansive tropical forests; the island country is an often times missed traveling hotspot for tourists. Here are some of the cultural influences which have been blended into the Philippines: Read the full story

Posted in About the PhilippinesComments (2)

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