A tourism attaché expects over 200,000 Taiwanese tourist arrivals to the Philippines by yearend as scheduled familiarization tours this month are expected to pique their interest particularly in the country’s well-known beaches.
“We have had around 180,000 tourists as of September. Our targets for yearend are between 200,000 to 220,000,” Tourism attaché to Taiwan Hazel Habito Javier said.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has yet to release arrivals for September, but most recent data showed that as of August, Taiwanese tourist arrivals have reached 157,517. Taiwan is currently the country’s sixth top visitor market.
Javier has brought in a 23-member delegation composed of Taiwanese tour operators and media to Puerto Princesa, Palawan for a week-long media of familiarization tour in the province.
The 23-member delegation arrived Puerto Princesa and attended a business-to-business (B2B) meeting the same day in hopes of convincing them to charter more flights between the Philippines and Taiwan.
“We’re promoting different products, ESL (English as a second language), dive tourism, general leisure but one of the reasons we brought agents here is to bring in more charter flights,” Javier said.
The Philippines also participated in the recently concluded Taipei International Travel Fair at the World Trade Center in Taipei.
Javier expressed hope that the familiarization tour would bring triple or quadruple returns and would eventually create more business opportunities for the Mimaropa Region particularly Palawan and Mindoro.
Mimaropa or Region IV-B is composed of five provinces namely Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.
“There will be hotel inspections and we will also be visiting destinations,” Javier said stressing the importance of hotels being accredited under the DOT.
She also expressed hope that there would be more programs to train Mandarin-speaking tour guides as she believed it would benefit the tourism industry greatly.
“There should be more transportation, there should be more Mandarin-speaking tour guides,” Javier said.
“Tourism is everybody’s business, the public and private sector should work together especially with the opening of the new Palawan airport next year,” she added.
Puerto Princesa is expected to open an international airport that can accommodate 51 flights a day by the first quarter of 2017.
DOT optimistic on surge of UK tourists as PHL returns to London’s Waterloo
The Department of Tourism (DOT) said it is optimistic that more tourists from the United Kingdom would visit the Philippines following the country’s advertising comeback to London’s Waterloo train station.
DOT Secretary Wanda Teo made this statement after paying a special visit to see one of the many consumer marketing activities staged by the DOT overseas office in the United Kingdom.
Teo also attended the prestigious World Travel Market (WTM) in ExCel, London, together with Senator Nancy Binay, Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez and Congressman Roger Mercardo as part of the delegation.
She pointed out that the UK remains to be the country’s eighth top market, contributing 117,500 visitors from January to August this year, registering a 13.5 percent growth.
“With more activities like this done to reach our target segments, we are optimistic to grow the numbers and move closer to our goal of six million arrivals this year,” Teo said.
“Along with the WTM exposure, we remain positive of the legislature’s continued understanding and support for DOT’s mandate and projects,” she added.
Waterloo is one of UK’s busiest railway stations with almost 100 million passenger entries and exits recorded in 2015. It is also the 15th busiest passenger terminal in Europe and the 91st busiest railway station in the world.
DOT said it hopes to gain wider exposure and greater impact given this high traffic.
Visitors can witness Philippine branding featured across the Waterloo Motion, Europe’s largest advertising screen at 80 meters wide and 12 D6 HD screens around the station.
There will also be special promotional flights and holiday packages advertised by partners, including Philippine Airlines, STA, Explore, Dive Worldwide and Secret Escapes.
Commuters may also experience the Philippines via VR (virtual reality) at the experiential zone at the concourse.
They can also have the chance to win a holiday to the Philippines by simply uploading to social media their paddle boarding or sky cycling selfie photos taken at the zone.
The top destinations can also be enjoyed in 360-degree views. The fun experience grows as more exciting prizes await the lucky consumers.
The project is part of the Station Domination Series which started in Waterloo in April this year where it was able to reach 8.4 million commuters and 1.2 million Facebook users. The project later moved to the King’s Cross Station and finally back to Waterloo. (PNA)SCS/Azer N. Parrocha