Sunday, 8 December 2013

Travel Industry Solidarity Showed for the Philippines (a message from The Philippines Department of Tourism)...

The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) London unreservedly thanks the entire travel industry for the support and solidarity it has shown over the past few weeks.

The outpouring support from all industries has been unprecedented and indeed overwhelming. These include UEFA's "You are Not Alone, Philippines" banner before all Champions League matches last week, countless donations and fundraisers set up by travel sector, Verifone taxis, numerous publications, event organizers giving up their media platforms for free and many more. 

The coverage by the UK travel media airing the impact and benefits of tourism to the local communities and the economy in the Philippines has been tremendous. These include full length articles from TTG, Wanderlust, The Guardian, Travel Bite and the Evening Standard. 

All of these are an inspiration to us and we can't thank you enough!

  Philippines Coverage
  Travel Industry Solidarity Showed for the Philippines
Philippines Coverage

The Philippines remains a safe and fun destination for all Tourists
The Philippines remains a safe and fun destination for all tourists, notwithstanding this unfortunate incident. The DOT assures the travelling public that tourism establishments and tourism activities continue and remain in operation in most parts of the Philippines.

More than 97% of the country, including the main travel destinations are fully operational and are welcoming visitors. 

The access to Coron Palawan by land, sea and air from Manila, Puerto Princesa City, Cebu City, El Nido, Culion and Occidental Mindoro are all operational. This includes the tourism establishments such as accommodation, restaurants, souvenir shops as well its tourism sites and attractions.

Tourism accounts for 8% of the GDP and 2.9m jobs, almost 8% of the total employment. It is a key contributor to the development of the country in rebuilding lives and businesses in communities.

The recently concluded familiarization trip to the Philippines for UK operators in the past two weeks was a “fabulous trip”, as reported by Keith Harrison of Cathay Pacific. “I’ll be “bigging” up any opportunities that arise for promoting and encouraging Philippine Tourism.. It’s a very special place”, he added.

While Malcolm Davies of Funway Holidays stated, “we will show the travel industry in the UK that the Philippines needs us and is always ready to receive and welcome the tourists to its shores. We’ll go back (to UK) and tell them that what happened should not affect people coming here to spend the holidays.”

* All the photos below were taken within the past two weeks.

Travel Industry Solidarity Showed for the Philippines

TTG - Government outlines why sending tourists to Philippines is crucial
More than 97% of the country, including the main travel destinations are fully operational and are welcoming visitors. 

The access to Coron Palawan by land, sea and air from Manila, Puerto Princesa City, Cebu City, El Nido, Culion and Occidental Mindoro are all operational. Tourism establishments such as accommodation, restaurants, souvenir shops as well as attractions and activities are back in business.

Tourism accounts for 8% of the GDP of the country and provides 2.9m jobs. This equates to almost 8% of the total employment. It is a key contributor to the development of the country in rebuilding lives and businesses in communities. 

Read More click here
The Guardian - The Philippines: A Guide to the Best Islands

Six of the country's 7,000-plus islands were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan; many of the others badly need tourists to return. Local writer Aya Lowe picks the best places to go.

For a country with thousands of idyllic islands, plus world-class surfing and diving, the Philippines is a relatively undiscovered travel destination. Tourism is crucial to the country's economy, accounting for eight per cent of its GDP, but compare the UK visitor numbers – 120,000 in 2012 – to those of Thailand (800,000 per year) and you get some idea of just how off the radar this vast archipelago is.

This month, of course, the country is firmly on the world's radar – for all the wrong reasons. Typhoon Haiyan caused wide spread destruction across the provinces of Leyte and eastern Samar on the mid-eastern side of the Philippines and some parts of Palawan and Cebu on the mid-western side. But while the areas in the path of the typhoon were devastated, much of the country was not damaged. The storm caused havoc on six of the country's 7,107 islands, so most resorts and tourists activities are open and fully functional, and those that were hit are quickly getting back on their feet in the run up to December and January, two of their busiest months of the year.

The tourist board and tour operators are reassuring visitors that the country is not only safe, but in desperate need of visitors to bring a vital boost to the economy. Those who go will receive a very warm welcome. So, how do you choose which of those 7,000-plus islands to visit? Here's our guide to 10 islands, each offering something different.

Read More click here

The Guardian - Tourists urged to holiday in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan
The Philippines tourism board is urging people to visit the country, stressing that their visits will have a direct effect on helping to rebuild lives and keep locals in jobs in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

While the scale of the devastation caused by the worst typhoon ever recorded made front-page news all over the world, the tourist board says media coverage has given the false impression that the entire country is out of bounds.

Tour operators to the country are reiterating the message that the country is open for business and reassuring clients that the country is not only safe to visit but in need of visitors. 

Read More click here
Travel Bite - We shall keep the torch burning’, Philippines Tourism says

The Philippines Department of Tourism has sent out a plea for tourists to still consider visiting The Philippines in the foreseeable future, after a category five storm - Haiyan - devastated parts of the country.

Tourism for the Philippines continues to be one of the major contributors to the economy making up approximately 8 per cent of the GDP. Following the storm - one of the most powerful ever recorded - tourism ‘could help repair the country.’

Venus Tan, regional director Europe, said in a written statement: “In our own way, we shall keep the torch burning. Tourism is a multiplier industry. Encouraging more travel and tourism to the country now will provide much needed jobs and livelihood for our people; and indeed put meaningful contribution to survivors of this disaster.

“We rely on our partners, both in the private and public sectors, to embark on initiatives that will help us achieve normalcy and sustain the tourism growth, particularly in the affected destinations.”

“The coming days, and indeed months to come will test the resiliency of the Philippines and the Filipino people yet again. We remain confident however that we will sail this crisis through; rebuild, move forward and come out stronger and even more determined,” she continued.

Read More click here

The Evening Standard - Tourism can boost disaster-hit Philippines says Simon Calder
My son is due to fly to Manila for a three-week independent island-hopping trip in the Philippines — including the area affected by the typhoon. He doesn’t feel it will be a holiday, and that it would be wrong to go when the people are suffering so much. Can he cancel? His insurance company says it will only pay if the UK Foreign Office warns against going, which it does for only part of the country. — Jean Bean

The suffering of the people of the Philippines since the typhoon struck has been heart-rending.

Your son’s reluctance to visit a nation that has been hit by such profound tragedy is understandable; when so many are suffering, taking a holiday can seem callous. Yet tourism is essential to help the long-term recovery of the typhoon-hit region. It’s an extremely effective way to bring in foreign exchange and provide employment.

Most of the country is physically unaffected by the typhoon. The biggest island, Luzon, offers a wealth of opportunities from beautiful beaches to trekking through volcanic terrain. 

Read More click here
Wanderlust - Philippines continues to welcome visitors

In a statement on their website, the department insisted that the majority of the archipelago is safe and accessible. Adding, “we are still the same beautiful country and we are still the same people”, the department assured travellers that “both domestic and international transport in the Philippines remains available and continues to be operational”.

The assessment accords with information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO has advised against all but essential travel to the Eastern Visayas region, which was badly hit by the typhoon, but places no restrictions on travel to many nearby islands. These include Iloilo, Bohol and Bacolod.

Read More click here

TTG - The Travel Trade Unites for the Philippines
The travel industry has rallied together to support those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Air Charter Service (ACS) is one of the providers to have mobilised for the relief efforts, having arranged a number of cargo charters carrying aid to the country.

ACS’s group cargo director, Justin Lancaster, said: “We have been working continuously over the weekend and since, developing situation reports for the region, checking airport details and aircraft availabilities, so that we can advise relief agencies as soon as they call us.

“We have already booked more than 1,000 tonnes of cargo to be flown out, and we are expecting to confirm many more charters in the coming days.

“Cebu Airport is the main hub and we have ACS staff on the scene at the airport to help coordinate things on the ground over there and to make sure that the aircraft are offloaded efficiently so the agencies get their relief to those in need as soon as possible.” 

Read More click here

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Tourists Urged to Holiday in the Philippines after the Typhoon,,,

Tourists are urged to holiday in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.

As the aid effort in the Philippines continues, the tourism industry is urging people to visit the country as a way of helping the recovery effort.

The Philippines tourism board is urging people to visit the country, stressing that their visits will have a direct effect on helping to rebuild lives and keep locals in jobs in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

Isabel Choat, writing in the Guardian newspaper, gives us the full picture.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Update from Amanpulo's Pamalican Island...

Amanpulo’s Pamalican Island was in the direct path of Typhoon Haiyan, but they are thankful to report that the resort team is safe, as are all the islanders on nearby Manamoc.
The resort sustained limited damage and will reopen on 15 December 2013.
While repairs (including telecommunications) are being made, the resort continues to assist the Andres Soriano Foundation which is providing medical aid and supplies to those in need throughout the Quiniluban Group of islands, in particular Concepcion and Algeciras.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Philippines Department of Tourism Statement...

For those who may be concerned, here is an extract from a recent statement issued by the Department of Tourism, in the Philippines, following the recent super-typhoon...

"The Philippines remains a safe and fun destination for all tourists, notwithstanding this unfortunate incident. The DOT assures the travelling public that tourism establishments and tourism activities continue and remain in operation in the other parts of the Philippines, which play host to some of the country’s key tourist destinations.
The great majority of touristic products are available, whether one is looking for a beach vacation, historical trip, gastronomic tour, or one of the many other possible travel opportunities. The country is home to some of the world’s great tourist sites and adventures with its unparalleled natural wonders, spectacular beaches, world-renowned heritage sites, modern shopping complexes, rich biodiversity, culture, and history"

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Five Reasons Why People Should Continue to Enjoy Holidays in the Philippines...

No one can fail to have been moved by images from the recent natural disasters that have affected the Philippines. However, it is fortunate that these events have been mainly limited to specific regions of the country, and for much of the Philippines, it's "business as usual". 

Here are FIVE reasons why people should continue to enjoy holidays in the Philippines...

1) The recent awful "super-typhoon" has shown television viewers around the globe scenes of total devastation, and few will fail to have been moved by such images. 

However, most of the country, especially the main tourist areas, have not been affected so dramatically, as the typhoon cut a narrow path as it traversed the country.

Initially there was a problem in which many flights and ferries were delayed or cancelled. These services have quickly resumed, and popular tourist destinations such as Boracay, Puerto Galera, Palawan, Banaue, Vigan, Bohol, Samal Island etc., continue to operate normally.

2) Philippines Hotels and resorts are largely sturdy buildings made from modern materials, and which are architecturally sound. 

Structures damaged by typhoons and strong winds have generally been less sturdily built dwellings of which many villages comprise. In fact it is the flimsy construction of such buildings that has played a major part in the subsequent high typhoon toll.

3) Tourism is a hugely important industry for many Philippines communities.

The popular areas that have invested in tourism, and which are developing to attract and accommodate visitors, rely on tourism to bring employment to local people, whether it's direct employment by the hotels and resorts, or service industries supplying fresh food and produce, or operating local tours, excursions, sailing expeditions, etc.

4) The earthquake that affected Bohol in October was over almost as quickly as it had begun, other than natural aftershocks. It's a fact of life that earthquakes happen in the Philippines, as it stands on the "Pacific Ring of Fire", but thankfully these are rare events.

Bohol is an island that largely depends on tourism, and although many historic structures were badly damaged, the airport was quickly reopened, island tours were resumed, and beach resorts got back to doing what they do best - giving its visitors fantastic holidays.

5) The warmth, friendliness and hospitality of Filipinos is world-renowned.

In fact it is my view that everyone should visit the Philippinnes to experience this hospitality first-hand!

Nigel Sutherland
Managing Director

Monday, 11 November 2013

Please Share Urgently - Following the Devastating Typhoon, Here Are Ways You Can Help the Philippines...

Photo taken from the BBC website
Following the devastating typhoon that struck the Philippines on Friday, affected areas are ungently in need of help.

Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in the Philippines are now homeless and without clean water or food in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Their situation is desperate.

With winds of 195mph, the typhoon was the largest storm ever recorded to make landfall and current reports indicate that upwards of 10,000 people may have lost their lives.

HERE ARE REPORTS & LINKS FOR MAJOR AID AGENCIES. PLEASE HELP. MANY THOUSANDS ARE DESPERATE. (Click on the name of each agency to go to their donations page.)

DEC Disasters Emergency Committee

"The DEC brings 14 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: Action Aid, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly."


"As hundreds of thousands in the Philippines suffer amid stunning devastation, we are working nonstop to help survivors of super Typhoon Haiyan – possibly the worst storm ever recorded.  A relief team is on the ground, and aid shipments are underway along with funding for urgent needs."


"Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, has struck the Philippines. Oxfam is ready to deploy water and sanitation materials to those affected."

Christian Aid

"More than 10,000 people are feared dead and hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes after Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, ripped through the Philippines."

Red Cross

"Red Cross teams are already in the city of Tacloban in Leyte, which bore the brunt of the storm when it made landfall on Friday. But their efforts have been hampered by the destruction of communication and transport links, with many roads into the affected areas completely blocked."

Nichola Jones, British Red Cross delegate in Cebu said: "The typhoon has left total devastation in its wake - houses have been wiped out and entire towns affected. Trees are uprooted, power lines are down and there is severe flooding. We now fear that thousands of people may have lost their lives.”


"ShelterBox has teams in the Philippines responding to the disaster and we are moving emergency shelter and other vital aid already located in the Philippines and neighbouring countries to the worst affected areas."

Action Against Hunger

"Our teams are already in the Philippines, distributing sanitation equipment and establishing access to temporary sources of clean water but time is critical - please give generously."

Global Giving

"Super Typhoon Haiyan has caused significant damage in the Philippines. Death tolls are estimated to exceed 10,000. According to officials, the storm caused heavy damage to about 90% of the infrastructure and establishments in the areas it passed through. Donations to this fund will support relief and recovery efforts in the affected areas."

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Satellite Image of Typhoon Haiyan...

The amazing charity, ShelterBox has posted an image of the Super-Typhoon that has devastated communities in the Philippines.

We are sharing this image to show our support for the wonderful work that they do, not just in the Philippines, but around the world.

Our thoughts are with all those affected by this storm.

Philippine Trails has guests who are affected by subsequent flight delays, and are making alternative arrangements for them until they can resume their Philippines tour arrangements.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Another Successful World Travel Market for the Philippines...

We've been attending the World Travel Market at Excel in London once again.

Monday was by invitation only, and we met up with old friends, plus a host of new faces and Philippines tourism representatives.

Yesterday, (Tuesday), was open to all in the travel trade, and Excel was buzzing with activity. 

It was interesting to learn that the Philippines is the only country to have increased its exhibit space by 100%, from 150 square meters in 2012 to 300 square meters this year, with a look and feel that captures the essence of fun in traveling to the country.

The exhibition continues today and tommorow (Thursday).

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Ryan Lara Cardona's Images of Batanes...

The countryside around Batanes is very different from the rest of the Philippines.

These are the most northerly islands, and people visit to enjoy the scenery, hospitality, and solitude.

Ryan Lara Cardona, Head Tour Guide and Tour Facilitator for Batanes Cultural Travel Agency, has created a Blog which showcases the beauty of Batanes and its people...

Enjoy Ryan's Blog, and images HERE...

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Vigan one of 28 Official Finalists in the New7Wonders Cities Campaign...

The old Spanish town of Vigan in Ilocos Sur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has made it to the finals of the New7Wonders Cities campaign, and it's amongst impressive company.
Joining Vigan in the shortlist are: Athens, Greece; Bangkok, Thailand; Barcelona, Spain; Beirut, Lebanon; Casablanca, Morocco; Chicago, USA; Doha, Qatar; Durban, South Africa; Havana, Cuba; Ho Chi Minh City, VietNam; Istanbul, Turkey; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Kyoto, Japan; La Paz, Bolivia; London, United Kingdom; Mendoza, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; Mumbai, India; Perth, Australia; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Prague, the Czech Republic; Quito, Ecuador; Reykjavik, Iceland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Seoul, South Korea; Shenzhen, China; and Vancouver, Canada.

Read the article, in the Philippines TEMPO newspaper, HERE...

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Simon Calder's Entertaining Video of the Philippines...

Simon Calder, from the Independent Newspaper presents an entertaining Video showing his experiences on the island of Luzon, Philippines...

View the Video HERE...

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Earthquake Hits the Central Visayas...

Dauis Church, Panglao Island, Bohol, before and after the earthquake today
At Philippine Trails, we're all very saddened to have heard about the earthquake that has resulted in tragic loss of life, as well as damage to several historic buildings in the Central Visayas area of the Philippines, with Bohol being particularly badly hit.

We hope that the area can recover soon,  and our thoughts are with those families affected.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Five First Time Travel Experiences in the Philippines...

Writing on her great Blog,  First-Time Travels, Claire Algarme recounts her 5 best first-time travel experiences in the Philippines, which include swimming with the whale sharks, and feeding a roaming giraffe!

Take a look at Claire's Blog HERE to read about all five experiences…

Friday, 11 October 2013

Fantastic Philippines - a guide to the island of Luzon...

Philippine Airlines starts flights from London to Manila on November 4th 2013, and the UK Independent newspaper today publishes an article concentrating on the Philippines main island of Luzon. 

Adam Karlin revels in its rich diversity, and writes about Donsol, with its whale sharks, historic Vigan (pictured right), the rice terraces of Banaue, surfing opportunities at San Juan, and Pagudpud, one of the most beautiful beaches to the very north of the island.

Read the full article HERE…

Monday, 22 April 2013

New Creative Project to help Preserve the Traditional Way of Life in the Ifugao Region of the Philippines

A group of artists and social entrepreneurs are hoping to preserve the traditional way of life in the Ifugao region of the Philippines, through a new creative project funded through crowdsourcing site Kickstarter.
Ricefield Collective, a creative social enterprise based in Ithaca, New York, aims to produce a collection of stylish hand-made knitted products from the Ifugao region, while providing a much-needed supplemental income to the local community.
British artist Anna Maltz, the project’s design director, will stay in the village of Ujah for three months, to teach local women the art of knitting and to oversee the communal production of the group’s first collection. “By teaching them how to knit and by making a market for the things we knit together, we hope that we can bring an alternative income stream to them, in order for them to stay where they want to stay,” she told ABS-CBN Europe.
Read the Full Story HERE...