Philippine Department of Tourism Campaign receives accolades

First Posted 08:23:00 09/17/2007

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Philippines Boasts Highest Annual Tourism Growth Rate In Southeast Asia With 14 Percent

MANILA, Philippines (Sept. 6, 2007) ? According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Philippines' tourism campaign has been rated as the best improved in Asia with a 14 percent annual growth rate, the highest in Southeast Asia.

The niche marketing campaign, created by Secretary Joseph Durano, aims to heighten foreign interest in the region, with the goal of welcoming five-million foreign tourists to the country by 2010. In 2006 alone, the PDOT tourism campaign was able to generate US$2.72 billion in tourism related revenue.

Tourism from North America in particular is on the rise with a 4 percent increase of U.S. visitors from Jan. ? April of 2007, compared to the same period in 2006. Visitor arrivals from Canada have risen 10.8 percent during those periods.

The Philippine Department of Tourism is increasing its efforts to attract not just first time visitors, but repeat visitors as well. Increased efforts are also being made to promote the Philippines as a health, wellness and beauty tourism destination, and further the country's strong reputation for eco-tourism offerings. This aggressive campaign is aimed at markets in North America, Japan, Korea, China, India, and Europe.

"Efforts are already being set in place to accommodate the increase in arrivals," noted Secretary Durano.

Many prominent companies have also shown increased interest in the Philippines, including Texas Instruments, a leading technology solutions company, which invested US$1 billion in the Philippines, expanding its operations in the country. Along with many other large investments from various global organizations ? and a sustained growth in economy since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took office in 2001 ? the Philippines has seen a large influx of capital with which it has been able to fund projects aimed at improving its tourism infrastructure.

This new infrastructure plan includes the addition of 20,000 hotel rooms, including luxury resorts, and major improvements to international and secondary airports through the country. Two new airports will be opened in Central Philippines, which has recently been declared the country's "Super Tourism Region" with a three-year plan further to develop region, while at the same time protecting the pristine natural resources that make it such a rich eco-tourism destination.

One of the Philippines' strengths is the diversity that exists across the 7,107 islands that make up the region. Boasting a wide range of ecology, the region sustains over 32 ecotourism sites, including 27 protected areas such as Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park in Palawan, comprised of two distinct reef systems separated by a four-mile channel. Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is located along the Sulu Sea and is a major nesting spot for endangered sea turtles as well as rare species of fish such as the unusual foxface rabbitfish.

The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Development Academy of the Philippines, has created eco-tourism training modules for local government units, designed to ensure proper management and protection of valuable sites. The PDOT also recently launched a Grassroots Entrepreneurs for EcoTourism initiative to help individuals and concerned groups in their actions to protect the environment.

Philippine Department of Tourism

The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) is one of the Executive Departments of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines responsible for the promotion of travel to the Philippines, tourism investments, and enhancement and preservation of tourism products in the country. Field offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco provide the following services free of charge on a selective basis: dissemination of tourism information, maps, brochures and posters; lending out of videos, CDs and other tourism-related materials; recommendations on places to visit; endorsement of relevant entities; and assistance to those traveling to the Philippines. These offices also engage in a number of promotional activities: presentations to travel organizations, travel trade shows, media inserts and joint marketing arrangements.

The Philippine Department of Tourism is headquartered in Manila, Philippines, with offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.experiencephilippines.ph or www.wowphilippines.com.ph.

Kahn Travel Communications (KTC) is the appointed publicist for the Philippine Department of Tourism, covering North America. Media may contact KTC at (516) 594-4100, or via e-mail at J.Kahn@KTCpr.com.

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