Philippine Tourism Receives Promotion From Foreign Media

Philippine tourism highlighted by TIME and CNN

The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) has lauded the foreign media for the series of positive publicity for the country, particularly TIME’s travel piece on Manila and CNN’s features on Boracay windsurfing and the Filipino's long Christmas celebration.

“The wave of publicity certainly helps usher in a good year for tourism. More importantly, the optimism of the foreign media reinforces our image as a desirable destination,” said Philippine Tourism Secretary.

The DOT expects Philippine tourism to surge with the country’s exposure through two of the world’s most prestigious media outfits referred to by millions all over the globe.

“Hotels, tour operators, the transportation sector, the entire industry are more than ready to accommodate the influx of guests,” said Durano.

In the January issue of TIME Asia, correspondent Lara Day portrayed the city of Manila as “beguiling and reinvigorating for even the most world-weary.”

Philippine Tourism
Philippine Tourism - Ati-Atihan Festival

The Hong Kong-based writer, photographer and editor for TIME and Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, however, lamented that the country is less-frequented by travelers because of a “flawed image problem.”

A similar PR issue affecting the country was pointed out by the National Geographic in a recent feature. At any rate, it listed the Cordillera mountains as one of the 25 best destinations for 2010.

“To sustain the efforts of the foreign press, we urge all Filipinos, not just the media, to commit themselves to uplifting the country’s identity to the international community,” said Durano.

Tourism Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque Jr., likewise emphasized the value of self-promotion to address remarks of outsiders that Philippine tourism is highly underrated.

“We have everything to gain if only we choose to highlight the beauty of our islands, even by way of personal blogs and social networking accounts.”

TIME Asia featured 10 attractions of Manila which varied from the Intramuros tour, museum explorations, halo-halo, music venues, to unusual shirt souvenirs. A side trip of El Nido was included in the three-page article.

Meanwhile, CNNgo.com included Philippine tourism twice in its 52 best weekends segment, which offers readers must-experience activities, destinations and festivals for all weekends of the year.

A subsidiary of CNN, CNNgo.com is an insider’s online guide for travel and entertainment in Asia and the world.

The 52 Best Weekends listed popular events such as the Australian Open in Melbourne, the Olympic Winter Games in Canada, the Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong and other avant-garde attractions as the Fuji Rock Music Festival in Japan, Trekking in Nepal and the Colombo World Spice Festival.

Claiming the year’s bookends, the Philippines captured the weekends of January 22 to 24 and December 24 to 26 for the Boracay International Funboard Cup and the world’s longest Christmas celebration, respectively.

CNNgo.com contributor Estan Cabigas of the travel blog http://langyaw.com featured the two attractions.

One of Asia’s biggest water sports events, Boracay’s windsurfing competition is where top slalom racers battle it out for global prestige. Avid water sports enthusiasts flock to this yearly contest.

Cabigas’ entry also gave detailed information on Boracay’s accommodations – from the pricey resorts to the modest inns – plus other adventure packages such as diving, island-hopping, kite-boarding, trekking via bicycles or ATVs (All Terrain Vehicle) and horse-back riding.

Last on the online guide's list is Manila’s Christmas celebration which was touted as the world’s longest and most festive.

Cabigas referred to the Filipino Yuletide spirit – signified by house-hopping jolly carollers, heavily decked out malls, and a generally more warm and friendly atmosphere – that permeates the whole country as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

CNNgo.com's 52 Best Weekends can be seen on this site, http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/none/52-weekends. (PNA/Lily O Ramos)


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