Travellers will not run out of reasons to visit the Philippines next year, as a host of activities and events has been lined up for Visit the Philippines Year (VPY) 2015.
The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) invites all to experience the enduring promise of “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”, which is the national tourism motto of the country.
It has set a target of attracting 10 million foreign tourists “to discover, explore and fall in love with the Philippines.”
Philippine Tourism Promotions Board president Domingo Ramon Enerio III listed the Papal visit in January to Manila, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meetings and Leaders’ Summit as among the exciting mix of events and activities,
“There will also be the unveiling of more historic treasures, natural wonders and unforgettable adventures.
“And not forgetting, our people’s hospitality and optimism to make the best of what he or she can offer,’’ he said during an appreciation dinner event in Petaling Jaya to kickstart VPY 2015 in Malaysia.
Also present were Philippine Embassy Consul-General Medardo G. Macaraig, Philippine Department of Tourism marketing director (Malaysia & Thailand) Datin Melissa Ong, Cebu Pacific Air’s Jade Lactao and a host of travel, tourism and hotel officials from the Philippines.
Many Malaysian tours and travel operators also attended.
Domingo Ramon said the Philippines was known for its old baroque churches, museums and World Heritage sites — the Banaue Rice Terraces, Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife and Sanctuary, the Palawan Underground River and Vigan City.
“The most exciting musical extravaganza to look forward to next year is the staging of the first MTV Music Evolution that will be launched first in Manila with the biggest hip-hop concert in 2015,’’ he said.
Ong said Malaysia was already in the top 10 for tourist arrivals in the Philippines, with a total of 99,167 Malaysian tourists going over as of September 2014.
“We wish to thank AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and travel agents for all the efforts in promoting Philippine tour destinations. The media has also played a big role,’’ she said, adding that Malaysia would continue to be a priority source market for the Philippines.
Ong said next year, Philippine Tourism would participate at the MATTA Fair, Malaysia International Travel Mart and Malaysia International Dive Expo, among others.
The Philippines is rich in natural wonders and biodiversity, and famous for hiking and diving with adventure hubs such as Siargao Island, a favourite surfing site.
Boracay is known for its white beach sand, Bohol for cruise tourism and Cebu for its breathtaking dive sites.