It’s more fun in the Philippines

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Mandala at beautiful Boracay islands in Philippines. Photo: courtsey Philippine tourism

Crescent-shaped beaches dusted with talcum powder-like sand; uninhabited tropical islands, lush impenetrable jungles bristling with unique wildlife, the thrusting soaring capital of Manila, historic cities, a diverse local cuisine and culture …the Philippines has all this and more. Go there and discover some of the 7,107 islands of this vibrant archipelago where English is widely spoken, the people are fun loving and life moves to a lilting beat.

The Department of Tourism, Philippines (DOT) has announced that the country recorded a double digit growth of 23.13% in Indian visitor arrivals during the first four months of 2013 as compared to previous year’s volume for the same period. The country established its Tourism Marketing Office in India in 2006. Since then, Indian arrivals to the country has been increasing year-on-year and reached over 100% in 2012. The Philippines recorded 46,395 visitor arrivals from India during the period January to December 2012.

Overall foreign visitor arrivals to the country reached 1,649,458 during January-April, 2013, showing a growth of 10.12% over the same period last year. The figure of visitor arrivals in these months represented 30% of the target arrivals for 2013. The month of January yielded the largest volume of 436,079 visitors and February generated the highest growth of 15.52%.

“This growth is an affirmation of our various marketing and destination development activities, strengthened by partnerships with the various stakeholders. While the upsurge may primarily be attributed to the summer season, it is also a clear indication that the nation has galvanized its reputation as an attractive destination. We have been seeing a sustainable increase in arrivals since last year. This building enthusiasm for the Philippines, aided by our government’s good governance agenda, gives us the confidence to achieve our target of 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016. Central to this, we are reaching out to industry, government, and civil society to continue investing in sustainable projects and partnerships to secure our continued growth,” Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said.

The Philippines recognizes India as one of the fastest growing outbound travel markets in the world. The country expects international visitor arrivals to reach 5.5 million this year and it has a target of 10 million arrivals by 2016. In order to tap the opportunities that the Indian market presents, the Philippines is currently seeking more air connectivity between major airports of the two countries. DOT recently participated in Routes Asia, Mumbai – an event specifically organized for the development of new air links within the Asian region.

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