Tourist arrivals up by 12.36 % in the first seven months

MEDIA RELEASE

September 5, 2019

The Department of Tourism (DOT) reports that international inbound traffic for the first seven months remains robust, totaling 4,852,107 and posting a 12.36 percent increase over the same period last year.   

Korea remained as the top tourist market with 1,113,274 arrivals followed by China with 1,038,409.  The USA (663,116), Japan (382,634) and Taiwan (192,195) followed at third, fourth and fifth spots, respectively. 

Completing the top twelve markets are Australia (164,378), Canada (146,000), United Kingdom (125,371), Singapore (94,061), Malaysia (84,815), India (80,383) and Germany (62,179).     

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat owes the continued upsurge to the sustained support from industry stakeholders, government, host communities, investors and foreign travel trade counterparts.   

“We remain inspired knowing that private sector, other government agencies and civil society continue to support our sustainable tourism programs and the more fun brand campaign.  The Build, Build, Build program and other convergence programs, on the other hand, are key to improving our competitiveness and attractiveness,” the tourism chief said. 

“We enjoin more support for our sustainable tourism efforts not only in key destinations but in all areas to continually drive inbound traffic and spread the benefits of tourism to the countryside.  After all, tourism is everybody’s business,” Puyat said. 

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DOT, GRAB launch eco-friendly “ride” in Intramuros

MEDIA RELEASE

28 August 2019

Intramuros, Manila — Exploring historic Intramuros can now be more fun!

This, after the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Intramuros Administration (IA) and Grab Philippines forged a partnership that will launch “GrabWheels”,  a two-wheel, personal mobility device (PMD) that tourists can use to roam around  the picturesque Walled City.

In the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today between IA and Grab, the latter committed the deployment of at least 30 units of GrabWheels, to be made available for the use of the public within Intramuros, free-of-charge for a period of three months.

“This is in keeping with the efforts of the DOT to inculcate a culture of sustainable tourism. This is what we envision to do to some, and ideally, to all of our destinations. We want visitors to have access to an eco-friendly but fun mode of transportation,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat who was present during the MOU signing.

Puyat stressed, “Sustainability demands that our planning and resources management must be responsible. Conversely, it should also maintain a high level of satisfaction and ensure meaningful experience of our tourists. This partnership, hopefully, will raise their awareness about environmental issues and allow them to experience first-hand these sustainable tourism practices.”

Atty. Guiller Asido of the IA noted that these PMDs will provide less carbon footprintand likewise significantly reduce traffic congestion, a major problem in the area.

“This is just a pilot test. After a month, we will review its reception and determine the necessary mechanisms and setting of fees to make it sustainable,” said Asido.

Meanwhile, Grab also committed to promote Philippine tourism by disseminating tourism materials produced and developed by the DOT and its attached agencies through its massive fleet of operators.

Photos:

DOT welcomes Travel + Leisure ranking of Palawan, Cebu, Boracay

Media Release

16 July 2019

The Department of Tourism (DOT) celebrates the inclusion of the three popular island tourist destinations of Palawan, Cebu, and Boracay in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2019

Leading the Philippine honorees is the “the perennially popular Philippine island of Palawan,” wrote the magazine. Palawan, which ranked second on the 15 Best Islands in the World list, is home to the enchanting Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Coron and El Nido.

Palawan is also where the DOT’s San Vicente Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ) is located.  Master planned as an integrated tourism destination project, it is envisioned as a sustainable investor’s haven that will be a catalyst for inclusive economic growth through public and private partnership.

“We are thrilled that Palawan has improved its ranking this year and is inching closer to regaining its top spot in T+L’s World’s Best Awards. Hats off as well to Cebu and Boracay for being recognized among the best in Asia,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Mactan, Cebu (photo courtesy of www.cebutours.ph)

Cebu and Boracay were voted 7th and 9th, respectively, in the Top 10 Islands in Asia category by the readers of the international travel magazine. The islands were rated according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value. Palawan also came in second on this list.

Boracay Island

“This citation by a major publication validates our efforts towards attaining a sustainable tourism industry and now, more than ever, encourages the DOT to work even harder on this advocacy, creating a tourism environment that is recognized and lauded not only today, but for the generations to come,” remarked Puyat.

El Nido,  Palawan (photo courtesy of  www.joya.life)

T+L writer Rebecca Ascher-Walsh quoted one reader naming Palawan as the “single most beautiful place I have ever seen.”

Ascher-Walsh also wrote that the Philippine island triumvirate of Palawan, Cebu, and Boracay are longtime favorites thanks to top-notch reef and wreck diving, white-sand beaches, hiking trails with waterfalls, and welcoming locals.

DOT invites the public to visit Museo de Intramuros

MEDIA RELEASE

30 April 2019

As the Philippines celebrate National Heritage Month this May, the Department of Tourism (DOT) invites the public to explore and learn about Philippine culture and history by visiting Museo de Intramuros in Manila.

Managed by the Intramuros Aministration (IA), Museo de Intramuros is located in two important reconstructions inside the walled city: the San Ignacio Church and the Mission House of the Society of Jesus. The museum was designed to house the period art collections of IA that includes ecclesiastical art, furniture, vestments, and textiles and other artifacts.

Museo de Intramuros will be open to the public starting May 2, 2019, and admission is free

The museum will be open to the public starting May 2, 2019, and admission is free.

Museo de Intramuros’ official opening, which took place on April 29, 2019, was among the highlights of the Intramuros Administration’s 40th anniversary as an institution.
The current in-house exhibition presents the story of the evangelization of the Philippines from the perspective of the Filipinos. It explores changes in the “Filipino” psyche as colonization introduced a new religion and culture to the natives.
With the display of religious images belonging to the IA collection, the exhibition is able to highlight Filipino artistry and craftsmanship that developed from the merging of the indigenous and the foreign.
Curated by Dr. Esperanza Gatbonton, Gino Gonzales, Dr. Cecilia dela Paz, Santiago Pilar and Martin Tinio, theexhibition has six components: (1) The Immaculate Conception, (2) The Religious Order, (3) The Patronato Real and the establishment of Parishes, (4) Religious Colonial Paintings, (5) The establishment of a parish and sacred vessels, and (6) The Indio Response.

In her 1981 book Philippine Relihious Imagey, co-curator Dr. Gatbonton wrote, “This collection of the Intramuros Administration is extremely valuable because it represents the first real attempt to collect and preserve within the Philippines an important aspect of the country’s cultural heritage.

Images of the Religious Orders and the Immaculate Conception exhibit at the ground floor of the museum

“The collection affords the viewer a panorama of the various styles and enables him to compare them with the artifacts done abroad in the same medium. We, Filipinos, have always tended to accept that we were the passive receiver of artistic stimuli from abroad. This collection proves that the Philippines was as much a giver.”
At the museum’s opening, DOT Secretary and Chairperson of the IA Board of Administrators, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said, “IA’s dedication in ensuring that the tangible treasures that immortalize our history are now accessible to the public is commendable.”

She congratulated IA Administrator Guiller Asido and the cultural workers behind the museum and added, “This project, rooted in passion and a deep love of country, must be emulated and replicated.”

“The Department of Tourism will be investing in the promotion of cultural tourism in the years to come. We’re doing it not just because we need to expand our tourism products, engage a specific market and increase revenue. Cultural tourism is telling the world our narrative. It is also a platform to ensure that our heritage structures and objects such as these will be preserved and enjoyed by our progeny,” Puyat said.

The Intramuros Administration is an attached agency of the DOT in-charge of the restoration, development, and promotion of the historic walled city of Intramuros.

Oriental Mindoro offers culture, traditions and tourism

MEDIA RELEASE

07 May 2019

CALAPAN CITY– Thousands of swaying candles light up the city as the Province of Oriental Mindoro celebrated their much-anticipated festival–Pandang-Gitab or Festival of Lights on April 27, 2019.

“In the previous years, the Department of Tourism (DOT) supported financially festival undertakings through prizes for street dance competitions and other tourism related events and activities. This year, to entice more tourists to visit our destinations and tourism sites, we invest on promotion and marketing. Media familiarization and exposure tour is one of the strategies,” DOT Region IV-B Director Danilo Intong said. 

According to Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso V. Umali Jr., Pandang-Gitab represents the province’s rich culture and history. “It (festival) is unique. Dito talaga nag-umpisa ang Pandanggo sa Ilaw, which Pandang-Gitab took inspiration from, really originated from Oriental Mindoro,” Gov. Umali added. 

CARRY ON WITH TRADITIONS. Pandang-Gitab was inspired by women carrying oil lamps as they send off their husbands to fish out to the sea at early dawn. 

Pandang-Gitab, an annual festival, is a lively street dance, adapting the basic steps and music of the original Pandanggo sa Ilaw. It was coined from the words “pandango” or dance and “gitab” or flicker of flights.

Doctor Jaymark Atienza, a folk choreographer, also emphasized that Pandang-Gitab should not only be seen as a festival where people hold lighted lamps on the palm and head while dancing, but more importantly, as an opportunity to bring back the culture and old tradition of the Mindoreños.

This folk dance was inspired by women carrying oil lamps as they send off their husbands to fish out to the sea at early dawn. 

Aside from promoting traditions of regions, the DOT also targets more tourist arrivals to destinations and sites especially potential and emerging destinations.

Oriental Mindoro offers pristine and amazing beaches away from the noise and chaos of the city that are perfect for a relaxing vacation. Other than Puerto Galera, which is known for its dive sites and white sand beaches, Bulalacao has a lot of promising islands to explore. 

Tourists can go island hopping to get to secluded and stunning islands like Suguicay, Aslom and Target to see long sand bar beaches with crystal clear waters.

The Province of Oriental Mindoro takes pride in their heritage sites like Kuta Church, Simbahang Bato and Mangyan Heritage Center that are being protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Gabunatero Organic Farm in Bongabong only produces purely organic agricultural products. 

In relation to farm tourism development efforts, accreditation is actively encouraged. The first accredited site in the province is Gabunatero Organic Farm in Bongabong. This must-visit farm allows tourists to plant and harvest organic fruits and other products as well fishing. 

In coordination with national agencies and local government units (LGUs), the DOT is developing rest areas along the stretch of the Strong Republic National Highway (SRNH) that connects the islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, which crosses through Oriental Mindoro.

Regional Director Intong underscored that this will open new economic opportunities and create numerous jobs for the people.

The SRNH not only provides easier and faster travel, but also enhances the accessibility of tourist destinations in the country.

Tropicales named as new Tourism Attaché for PDOTSF

by ASIAN JOURNAL PRESS

MARIE Soleil P. Tropicales has been appointed as the new Tourism Director/Attaché for the San Francisco office of the Philippine Department of Tourism. Director Tropicales assumed her post last January 22, 2019.

Director Tropicales took over the SF post from Purificacion Suanding Molintas, who was tourism director for the last four years.

Read more at Asian Journal

DOT RECORDS 3.4 M INT’L TOURISTS FROM JANUARY- MAY 2019

MANILA, PHILIPPINES– Just for the first five months of 2019, a total of 3,489,270 tourists visited the Philippines, marking a 9.76 percent increase from last year’s figures, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).“The numbers are very encouraging. From 3,178,984 tourists recorded from January to May in 2018, we are already close to breaching the 3.5 million mark this year. This only shows that the preservation of our environment can go hand in hand with economic gains,” said tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.


Secretary Puyat is also pleased to note that for the month of May, tourist arrivals saw an impressive 15.62 percent growth, the highest month-per-month growth rate this year to date, from 537,743 last year to 621,719 this year.

The country’s number one source market, Korea, continues its foothold in the top spot with 788,530 Jan-May arrivals, chalking up an 11.76 percent growth rate comprising 22.6 percent of the total arrivals.
China trails closely behind with 733,769 arrivals for a staggering 30.96 percent increase and with a 21.03 percent market share.
Sustaining its third and fourth rankings are the USA with 472,469 (+1.98%) and Japan with 281,988 (+2.19%).

Another market with a remarkable double digit growth rate is Taiwan at the fifth place with 128,986 (+27.24%).

Australia with 123,851 (+2.7%), Canada with 114,605 (+5.01%), and the United Kingdom with 92,914 (+3.49%), posted positive growth placing sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

Singapore followed at the ninth spot with 64,951 (-14.38%) with Malaysia winding up the top ten markets with 62,144 (+1.81%).

PAL, Cebu Pacific cited for improved on-time performance

By Ma. Cristina ArayataPhilippine News Agency on July 12, 2019

MANILA — Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Ed Monreal on Friday commended the improved on-time performance (OTP) of Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific (CEB).

… On Friday, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) noted the improved OTP of PAL and CEB, saying the upward trend was noticeable two weeks after they signed a pledge of commitment to support NAIA’s decongestion, develop Sangley Airport, and improve passenger convenience.

Read more at Philippine Canadian Inquirer

DOT gears up for Dive Expo in September

By Steffi RamosPhilippine News Agency on July 12, 2019

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is organizing the first Philippine International Dive Expo in Manila this September to sustain the development of the local scuba diving industry, as well as to position the Philippines as a premiere diving destination.

DOT Assistant Secretary Roberto Alabado III, in an economic briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday, explained that the event will gather renowned scientists, marine conservationists, and underwater photographers to network and exchange ideas on sustainable dive tourism practices.

Read more at Philippine Canadian Inquirer

PCG Calgary Supports Philippine Cuisine Festival Gala

25 June 2019, Calgary – The Philippine Consulate General supported the Philippine Cuisine Festival Gala held on 17 June 2019 at the Winston Golf Club in Calgary. 

Consul General Gilberto Asuque congratulated the event’s main organizers – Diaryo Alberta Society (DAS) and the Philippine & Culinary Federation of Canada (PCFC) – for putting up the event as part of the month-long celebration of the Philippine Heritage Month in Alberta, Canada.

Eighteen (18) Filipino chefs belonging to the PCFC came up with Filipino dishes that were served to about 170 guests in fine-dining style. The Filipino chefs came from various parts of the province of Alberta – Banff, Canmore, Cochrane, Calgary, Strathmore – and from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Quezon City, Philippines.

The Filipino dishes showcased were the following:

Sutukil– A trio seafood dish with yellow fin tuna as the main ingredient and done in sugba(grilled), tula(boiled) and kilaw (marinated in vinegar). This dish is popular in General Santos.

Chicken Inasal with Cucumber Salad– Grilled chicken cooked with calamansi, lemongrass and anatto oil. The dish comes from Bacolod.

La Paz Batchoy– A sweet and salty beef noodle soup popular in La Paz, Iloilo.

Hamonado and Biringhe Bulakenyo –Hamonado is pork meat marinated overnight with sweetened pineapple sauce. Baringhe, popular in Bulacan, is rice cooked with coconut milk and turmeric oil.

Durian Cheesecake– A dessert made of durian, an exquisite tasting fruit that is abundant in Davao.

Mango Calamansi Cocktail– Cocktail drink combining the Philippine mango and Philippine lime.

Sutukil, Chicken Inasalwith Cucumber Salad and La Paz Batchoy (Photo credit: DAS)
Hamonado and Biringhe Bulakenyo, Durian Cheesecake and Mango Calamansi Cocktail (Photo credit: DAS)

The Philippine Department of Tourism-San Francisco was also among the event’s sponsors. 

Consul General Gilberto Asuque addressing the guests at the Philippine Cuisine Festival Gala in Calgary.
Madame Rosalie Asuque and the officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate General in Calgary together with some of the participating Filipino chefs.

Press Release: PCG Calgary

“Proudly Philippines” Brings a Taste of Filipino Cuisine and a Glimpse of Philippine Travel Destinations to Vancouver

15 June 2019 – Consul General Maria Andrelita S. Austria welcomes guests to the opening ceremony of the “Proudly Philippines” Food and Travel Fair, held on June 15, 2019 at the Robson Square, Vancouver, in celebration of the 121st anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence, the 70th year of PH-CA relations and the Canada-wide declaration for the very first time of the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month.

The opening program was attended by representatives from the Canadian government, members of the Consular Corps of British Columbia, business and Filipino-Canadian communities, and media.

Mr. Jason Pires (left), Co-anchor of CTV Morning Live in Vancouver, and Ms. Michelle Eliot, Host of CBC Radio’s BC Today, were the emcees for the opening program. Jason’s mother is aFilipino while Michelle was born in the Philippines.

(Clockwise from top left photo) Member of Parliament for Vancouver-Kingsway Don Davies, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston, andVancouver Deputy Mayor Sarah Kirby-Yung were the Canadian officials who graced the event. Philippine Department of Tourism-San Francisco office (PDOT-SF) Senior Tourism Officer Zeny Pallugna delivers her closing remarks. PDOT-SF supported the Consulate in mounting“Proudly Philippines”.

Consul General Maria Andrelita S. Austria cuts the ribbon to officially open the fair, with the assistance of (L-R) Senior Tourism Officer Pallugna, Deputy Mayor Kirby-Yung and MP Davies.

The La Riva Dance Studio and Ms. Sheryn Regis provided the entertainment during the opening program. The La Riva Studios is a family-owned business, founded and directed by Riva Oquendo in 1996, with the goal of expanding the dance community by teaching young children ballroom, hip hop and cultural dances. Sheryn Regis rose to fame during the first season of the Filipino singing competition, “Star in a Million”, and was dubbed the Crystal Voice of Asia by the Philippine local media. Sheryn is now based in the US.

Some of the Filipino-Canadian artists who performed during the day were the Aklanon Sto. Niño Association of B.C., Zambales Dance Group, violinists Kimwell and Grace del Rosario of Rosario Strings., Marife Elsted, Salve Dayao, and BIBAK.

Participating Filipino restaurants Plato Filipino, Kulinarya, Aling Mary’s Bakeshop and Goldilocks provided a taste of Filipino cuisine for visitors throughout the day. Corinthian Distributors and AFOD Ltd., two of the biggest Canadian importers of Philippine products, share their booth with Seasia Foods Ltd., and Rumtels Solution Inc., as well as Philippine exporters, Mama Sita, Paradise Fruits Corporation,Loobi Canada Inc., and Mega Global Corporation to highlight Philippine products already available in Canada. Also joining the event were various Vancouver-based enterprises owned by Filipino-Canadians, such as Kape, Kasama Chocolates, Bukobaba Essentials Inc.,La Glace, FlipSide Desserts, and, Filipino franchises, Max’s and Potato Corner.

The Philippine Department of Tourism-San Francisco office led travel agencies, (clockwise, from top left photo) New Millennium Holidays, Tourmasters Travel, Maligaya Travel, and Aling Mary’s Travel &Tours, as well as Philippine Airlines, in enticing visitors to the Philippines. The DOT’s photo booth, provided by Lucky Studios, was a highly popular attraction for the guests.

In addition to food and travel, “Proudly Philippines” also showcased the work of a group of Fil- Canadian artists (some of the exhibiting artists L-R: Lenore Lim, Tessie Dechupa and Ed Lantin) and photographer Allan Florendo, who presented the Consulate with one of his framed pictures of the Dinagyang festival. KannaNg of Weavinalikewise promoted her mat-woven products.

Press Release: PCG Vancouver

BRING HOME A FRIEND PROGRAM LAUNCHING IN CANADA

The Philippine Department of Tourism San Francisco, together with the Philippine Consulate General Vancouver, kicked off its Bring Home A Friend (BHAF) Program in Vancouver on November 4, 2017 at The Coast Coal Harbor Hotel in Vancouver.

PDOT-San Francisco Tourism Attaché Purificacion Suanding-Molintas explained the mechanics on how to join the program to an audience of Filipino-Canadian community/association leaders, influencers, and members of the media.

During her message she also debuted the Bring Home a Friend Music Video by DOT’s newest Tourism Ambassador Piolo Pascual. Consul General Neil Frank R. Ferrer urged guests to invite their friends and spread the word of the Bring Home a Friend project.

BHAF is a referral incentive program that aims to encourage both Filipinos abroad and expatriates living in the Philippines to invite their international friends to come and visit the country. This program will run from October 15, 2017 to April 15, 2018.

To join, the sponsor can register online at bringhomeafriend.online and invite his/her friends through the website. A sponsor must be 18 years of age and above, a Filipino dual citizen living in the Philippines or abroad as residents or overseas contract workers, or a foreigner (expatriate) living in the Philippines permanently or temporarily for a minimum of six months prior to the program period. An invitee can be anyone holding a foreign passport or dual citizenship living abroad for a minimum of six months prior to the program period and has traveled to the Philippines during the specified program period.

Three (3) sponsors and their invitees will be selected to win through an electronic raffle draw in April 2018. Sponsors have a chance to win a Le Grand condominium unit in Eastwood, Philippines, or a brand-new Toyota Vios, Duty Free gift certificate worth 200,000 pesos (approx. 3,800-4000 USD). Invitees can win two roundtrip tickets 6-days/5-nights’ accommodation in Palawan, two roundtrip tickets 5-days/4-nights’ accommodation in Cebu, or two roundtrip tickets 5-days/4-nights’ accommodation in Davao.

To register as a sponsor, go to bringhomeafriend.online .

For more details, visit philippinetourismusa.com .

Like, follow, and support the official BHAF social media accounts:

Facebook: bringhomeafriendPH

Twitter: bringhomePH

Instagram: bringhomeafriendPH

Email: bringhomeafriend@tourism.gov.ph

Hashtag: #BHAF2 #bringhomeafriend

(L-R) PDOT San Francisco’s Administrative Officer Alessa Lopez, PCG Vancouver’s Cultural Officer Jo Nacisvalencia and Consul Charmaine Guevara, together with Philippine Airlines Aileen Gabat and Country Manager Allan Coo.
Left photo: Philippine Department of Tourism – San Francisco Team – TA Pura Molintas and Ms. Alessa Anne Lopez with Vancouver-based Filipino-Canadian performers
Left photo: Consul General Neil Ferrer welcomes guests to the launch of Bring-Home-A-Friend Program at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in Vancouver on November 4. Right photo: Guests await the launch of BHAF. (Photo by Vancouver PCG)