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Posts Tagged ‘Department of Tourism

Globe Gives Away Free SIM Cards to All Foreign Tourists and OFWs

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Globe Telecom, in partnership with Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines, announced today to give away free SIM cards to all foreign tourists and Overseas Contract Workers (OFW) visiting or coming back to the country, respectively. Starting tomorrow, July 30, 2015, Globe will start issuing the free SIM cards to incoming foreign tourists and OFWs through its booths inside the airports of NAIA, Cebu, Davao, Kalibo, Iloilo, and Clark. Tourists can present their non-Philippine passports or foreign resident cards, while OFWs can show their Seaman’s book or OFW E-card. This free SIM cards promo will end on December 31, 2015.

So, how many free SIM cards is that going to be? Roughly about 2.23 million!

The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) is the marketing arm of the Philippine’s Department of Tourism (DOT). The board was tasked to promote the Philippines as the top tourist destination in Asia through its “Visit the Philippines Year 2015” tourism campaign, with a goal of garnering 5.5 million foreign tourists arriving in the Philippines. With this goal, it has partnered with Globe Telecom, the first telecommunications company it has done so, through the International Business Group of the telecom giant to offer various services to the millions of tourists visiting the Philippines, and for the OFWs returning home. The two entities conducted the formal contract signing at the Aracama in the Fort Strip of Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City this morning in front of a backdrop that said:

Staying Connected – More Fun in the Philippines.

Buffet lunch at Aracama was served with the main course being three kinds of lechon: Original lechon, Spanish lechon and Truffle lechon. Of course, I tried all three and concluded the Spanish style was the best tasting one. Kudos to Chef Fernando Aracama for this kind of gastronomic treat!

After lunch, Tracy Abad opened the event by describing who the two entities were and a description of the partnership that was about to happen. However, I was still curious if what they were going to announce was a smartphone app, a website or something else. Tracy Abad is currently the morning show host for Mellow 94.7, a Philippine FM radio station. She was the TV show host with the now-discontinued QTV of GMA Network.

Opening remarks were delivered by the representing officers of both entities. First on the stage was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TPB Domingo Ramon Enerio III who gave a synapse of inbound tourism in the country.

Summarizing what he said, there were a total of 2.23 million tourists who arrived in the Philippines between January and May this year, an 8.15% leap compared to last year of the same period. The average stay of a tourist in the country is 10 nights and the average tourist spends more than $100 a day. That’s a whooping 93.9 billion Pesos in tourism earnings for the first five months of 2015.

I did some Google-ing (is there such a word?) and found out that between 1991 and 2015, the highest recorded foreign arrivals in the country was December last year at 487,654 tourists while the lowest recorded foreign arrivals was February of 1991 at 63,628. Also during the event, Enerio enumerated the top 10 countries for incoming foreign tourists come from, mainly:

  1. Korea
  2. USA
  3. Japan
  4. China
  5. Australia
  6. Singapore
  7. Canada
  8. Taiwan
  9. UK
  10. Malaysia

But another Google-ing led me to tourism.gov.ph and the top spending markets based on visitor earnings were not the same. The top three countries in the government website was the same but the 4th highest was listed as Australia, not China which was in 5th place. Then, it was more different for the 6th to 9th place, namely: (6) Canada, (7) UK, (8) Singapore, and (9) Spain. Taiwan was missing from the website’s top 10 list. Okay, maybe I’m reading the stats on the website differently.

After Enerio, the Senior Vice President for International Business of Globe Telecom Rizza Maniego-Eala entered the stage and spoke of the need to help the promotions board hit their 5.5 million tourist target, and Globe’s role to do so. This is when she announced their intent to give away free SIM cards to every incoming foreign tourist and OFW – the first campaign in a series of more campaigns to come.

Called the Globe Traveler SIM, it is a local prepaid SIM card that offers the same services as every prepaid customer of Globe enjoys – local rates for calls, text messaging, and mobile internet services, giving foreign tourists and OFWs a more cost-efficient way to communicate and connect rather than using an international number which charges expensive roaming rates for calling, text messaging and internet browsing while in the Philippines. For example, they can use the Globe Traveler SIM and call the U.S. for as low as $0.40 per minute. That’s low compared to high roaming charges – for example, AT&T would bill an American $2.50 per minute to call from the Philippines to anywhere in the world, including home country USA.

Eala adds, “We are happy to be the first telco partner of the Tourism Promotions Board in their thrust to make the Philippines the ultimate destination hub for tourists worldwide. Offering free SIMs is our way of helping travelers further enjoy their stay by enabling easy, affordable and hassle-free communications.”

A question-and-answer portion followed for people in media and guests to ask for more information about the partnership. Then, a table was set where both Enerio and Eala sat down to formally sign the partnership contracts while everyone witnessed, video-taped and snapped photos of the moment.

For more information on the FREE Globe Traveler SIM, please visit the Globe Traveler SIM website. For jetsetters, backpackers, and thrill-seekers, Visit the Philippines Year 2015 provides a year-round calendar guide for all adventures, whether it be food trips, walking tours, or festivals. For information on activities and events, please log on to www.visitph2015.com.

Sources and references of text: Globe Press Release | tourism.gov.ph | AT&T

Photos and images: Globe Press Release | tourism.gov.ph | @raffypekson #capturebyKata

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

July 29, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Government & Politics, ICT, Travel & Tourism

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Philippines Hosts the 1st International Paragliding Accuracy Championship

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Before I post the press release, I first had to make sure I knew what paragliding was. After some Googling, I realized I was wrong in my assumption.

First, paragliders – the flying contraption that people ride on – are free-flying, foot-launched glider-like aircrafts with no rigid primary structure. The single-passenger is the pilot who sits in a harness suspended by a fabric wing all connected by suspension lines to the harness. Second, paragliding does not use an engine. That’s where I got it wrong. Powered paragliding is the flying of paragliders with a small engine attached. And kite skiing is not paragliding; it uses equipment similar to paragliding sails.

Despite not using an engine, paraglider flights can last many hours and cover many hundreds of kilometres, though flights of 1–2 hours and covering some tens of kilometres are more the norm. By skilful exploitation of sources of lift the pilot may gain height, often climbing to altitudes of a few thousand meters.

Paragliders are unique among human-carrying aircraft in being easily portable. The complete equipment packs into a rucksack and can be carried easily on the pilot’s back, in a car, or on public transport. In comparison with other air sports this substantially simplifies travel to a suitable takeoff spot, the selection of a landing place and return travel.

Here’s the press release:

Philippines hosts the 1st International Paragliding Accuracy Championship

The country takes on a new challenge this year, as Air Sports Adventure Philippines (ASAP) sets in motion the history of Philippine aerial sports with the the 1st International Paragliding Accuracy Championship (IPAC 2014).

Paragliding pilots representing more than 11 counties around the globe will be flying down to Sitio Seguil, Barangay Tinoto, Maasim in Sarangani Province for this much anticipated event set on August 22-24, 2014.

At a press a conference held at the SM City General Santos (GenSan), ASAP President Buko Raymundo said, “There are a lot of paragliding competitions abroad, and with our local pilots doubling in number since we began promoting the sport in the country, we believe it is the perfect time that the Philippines staged its own.

Come August, the Sarangani gale will be at its finest, giving competing pilots the best of its 300-day flying season, which will as well highlight the most majestic bay south of the Archipelago. Accredited by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, the competition has been sanctioned a pre-world status, and opens doors to exciting possibilities for Philippine Air Sports.

“We would like to elevate the country’s position as one of Asia’s top air sports destinations while featuring the future of paragliding in the Philippines,” continued Raymundo, who was also dubbed as ‘The Chief of Paragliding in South East Asia’ for taking home the gold medal in accuracy paragliding at the 2011 South East Asian (SEA) Games, held in Jakarta Indonesia.

Outdoors enthusiasts, in recognizing the popularity of safety paragliding and tandem paragliding as leisure and recreational activities, see opportunities in promoting Philippine Culture, Tourism and Trade.

With opening day festivities arranged for August 21, 2014 by the DOT-12, it will stage a line-up of spectacles and activities, in cooperation with the City Government of General Santos and the Provincial Sarangani Office. Kicking off the phenomenal affair will be a motorcade with international paragliders and a meet-and-greet with the winners of Ms. Earth Philippines. Outdoors accuracy and nature adventure sports can also be experienced at the site during the 4-day event. A trade fair will also exhibit the best offerings in food, gear, apparel, and Filipino-made products.

As preparations for this historic happening take off, ASAP continues to work with, and for the benefit of the SOCCSKSARGEN Paragliding Club, to gather support from different sectors meaning to promote Filipino excellence in sports.

“For many Filipinos to learn this great sport – for them to feel, relax and experience the elements of nature while free flying through safety paragliding; for outdoors adventure seekers and airs ports athletes to recognize the beauty of our country – that is our humble mission”, Raymundo states.

With the participation of private companies, advocacy and local groups, IPAC 2014 will launch the Safi Fly-site as one of the destinations of Department of Tourism’s 12th Paradise, clearly signaling the promise to a claim — that paragliding can truly be more fun in the Philippines.

For more information on how to get involved at the IPAC 2014, and for publicity inquiries and requests, contact TuklasSining™ Creative Services and Communications Group at 0918-4248494 or 0926-6483076, or email tuklassining@hotmail.com.

Source of some text: Wikipedia.org.

Photo by ADwarf from Wikimedia.org.

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Stronger Philippine Tourism Campaign in Ottawa

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Filipino folk dance presentation

The Philippine Embassy participated in the recent 18th Ottawa Travel and Vacation show held on March 10-11, 2012 at the Ottawa Convention Centre in Canada. The participating travel services company includes Tours Hai International, Jade Tours, Handa Travel, and Royal Scenic, among others. At the show, there was palpable interest in selling more Philippine destinations as demonstrated by Uniktour, Travel Professionals International and Family Travel Scoop.

Besides tourism, the Philippine Embassy took the occasion to promote Philippine products and food. Filipino shell craft, baskets and the turon were the top drawers inviting queries and compliments from visitors. Philippine participation in the travel show was organized by the Philippine Department of Tourism office in New York represented by Ms. Mitchelle T. Dy, Deputy Director for Marketing.

Read more at Philippine Embassy Ottawa

Photo by pong0814 at Flickr.com

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

March 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm

New Tourism Slogan – It’s More Fun in the Philippines

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The new Philippine tourism slogan: Like or Dislike?

The Department of Tourism today launched its newest tourism slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” Including a Twitter hashtag #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines, many expressed mixed feelings of optimism, caution, disappointment and a wait-and-see attitude. Some expected more creativity than what was launched while others, including this author, are more concerned with the safety, security, and convenience of tourists visiting the country for the first time than a new campaign slogan.

I wrote about Philippine tourism, Moments of Truth in Philippine Tourism,” where I mentioned:

“Think about it! The moment a tourist boards a plane bound for the Philippines, the customer experience begins and ends the moment he steps back into an airplane bound for his country of origin. Is the customer experience what we’d like it to be if we were in his or her shoes? Today, I will stand by my observation that the customer experience in Philippine tourism experience is at its low side, not necessarily worst.”

Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr., who announced the new tourism campaign slogan today, said the new brand campaign will be rolled out “this quarter in different key markets, along with its local tourism drive called #1 for fun Philippines.” He expects to attract 4.2 million tourists in 2012 using the campaign of which total project cost is still undisclosed. The tourism department’s landmark target in 2016 is to hit 10 million tourist arrivals.

The rectangular colored logo to the right of the slogan represents the Philippines using the idea of a “banig” (or a hand-woven native mat).

What do you think?

Source: Business World | ABS-CBN News

Images of photo from dot.gov.ph

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New Philippine Tourism Video is a Remake But a Good One

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Don’t get me wrong. It’s always awesome to promote your country of origin, especially doing so without expecting compensation in return. That’s exactly how these celebrities from the Philippines performed on the video. It is a remake of the old one created by the Department of Tourism but this time featuring new artists.

Is this better than the original one? What do you think?

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

August 13, 2011 at 7:00 am