Fun in the Philippines

January 28, 2015 by  
Filed under ASEAN AFFAIRS, News, PACIFIC

NAY PYI TAW, 28 January 2015: The Philippines officially launched its Visit Philippines Year, Tuesday evening, during the ASEAN Tourism Forum.

Under-secretary for tourism development, Benito Bengzon, announced details of the year-long calendar of events earlier in the day at a media briefing at Nay Pyi Taw’s international convention centre on the eve of the opening of the ATF’s TRAVEX travel mart.

“The government will speed up airport improvements, make Manila easier to visit and the VPY will give visitors a spread of fun events,” he said at the press briefing.”

The year-long celebration of events, concerts and festivals follows on the heels of the five-day visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines, which drew record breaking crowds and packed Manila’s hotels for more than a week.

inside no 1The year-long calendar of events will include music festivals and concerts featuring internationally acclaimed artists.

The concert scene will come alive with performance that include Michael Buble (31 January), the Vamps (1 February) Boyce Avenue (14 February) and Ed Sheeran (12 March).

The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival in Puerto Galera will run 6 to 8 March and the first ever MTV Music Evolution in Manila is set to be the biggest concert in Manila this May.

Foodies will gather in Manila for the “Madrid Fusion Manila, slated for April with over 400 top chefs and culinary experts, worldwide, gathering in the Philippines’ capital. The famed Madrid Fusion event is held annually in Spain.

International tourist arrivals to the Philippines reached 4.8 million in 2014 compared to 4.7 million in 2013, indicating that despite its popular branding Fun in the Philippines, the pick-up in bookings and trips is are below the country’s potential.

Officials noted the Philippines is an island destination. “We don’t have overland travel to lift our arrival totals, we rely entirely on flights and cruise business,” the under-secretary stated.

Tourism related revenue was estimated to USD4.83 billion in 2014 up 10.04% on USD4.39 billion in 2013.

The top source markets are South Korea with around 118,000 visits followed by US at 65,000, Japan 40,00 and China 35,000.

Philippines will host the 35th ASEAN Tourism Forum in Manila January 2016.

For more information on the full calendar of events see www.itsmorefuninthephilippines.com.

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