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Reach for the STAR!

Be one of the most outstanding performers in the travel and tourism industry. Reach for the STAR!
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ASEAN Green Hotel Award

Application for the 7th Green Hotel Award (2018-2020) is now open.
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FLY TO DAVAO VIA CLARK! LIFE IS HERE!

Conquer the GREAT OUTDOORS of Davao! Visit the city's natural wonders! Fly via Clark NOW!
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The Best Pampanga Cuisine

Our quest to discover the authentic dishes in Southeast Asia took us to Pampanga...
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ASEAN MRA FOR PROFESSIONALS

Do you have what it takes to be a tourism professional?
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Travel Trends in 2016

6 travel trends for 2016 that will drive the global tourism industry
 

BICOL: The new culinary destination

Join us for a culinary expedition that will provide different dimension to your travel experience!

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Immigration and Family Law

Welcome to Chua Tinsay and Vega (CTV), a professional legal corporation and a full service law firm...
 

Top 15 no-match icons due for a visit!

Top 15 iconic vacation spots close to Manila. It's more than just a relaxing vacation...
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Be healed by the Holy Cross!

Mark your calendar. Come and venerate the Relic of the Holy Cross on January 19 at the Monasterio de Tarlac....
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Q & A on the New Accommodation Standards for Hotels

Here is a Q & A on the new set of accommodation standards for hotels, resorts and apartment hotels....
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Pottery-making village boasts of a first clay altar - Tonette Orejas

STO. TOMAS, Pampanga, Philippines –A village in this town has begun its bid to have its chapel declared as the site of the first terracotta retablo (main altar) in Central Luzon.
Ronaldo Tiotuico, regional director of the Department of Tourism, has visited the chapel at the invitation of Mayor Lito Naguit, said Teresita Juarez, barangay captain of Sto. Niño (formerly Sapa).

So far, what Tiotuico has confirmed is the claim that Sto. Niño has the first clay altar in Pampanga.

The Archdiocese of San Fernando and the Center for Kapampangan Studies of the Holy Angel University have yet to validate the claim, at least at the provincial and regional levels.
Juarez said the title is being sought on the 25th anniversary of the segregation of Sitio Sapa from Barangay San Matias in 1985.
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Generate Income in Rural Areas thru Tourism

The Mt. Pinatubo “Kabuhayan sa Turismo” Project was envisioned to provide social and economic benefits to the crest-fallen community of Brgy. Sta. Juliana in Capas, Tarlac thru the conduct of ecotourism program.

The project was conceived upon learning of the presence of a number of unexpected visitors to the community who are bound to chance upon the locality on their way up to the crater of Mt. Pinatubo. Thus when the tourism regional office came into the picture, the overall outlook of local residents for tourism took on a new twist. Local residents looked up to the newfound activity as their means of enriching their social and economic status in life. The project won two international awards (PATA and ASEANTA) and one national award (Kalakbay) for Best Ecotourism Project. HERE IS THEIR TRUE-TO-LIFE STORY.
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SM City Clark Denounced for Cultural Injustice vs IPs from the Cordilleras

The organizers of the 3rd North Philippines Travel and Tourism Expo which was staged at the SM City Clark in Pampanga on November 14-16, 2008 decried the discriminatory acts - tantamount to committing cultural injustice - of the sales department of SM Supermalls represented by Ms. Lana Erroba for arrogantly trying to stop the staging of the indigenous cultural performance of the Pines City National High School Teatro Pino from the Cordilleras saying that the performers are wearing skimpy attire and therefore are bound to “scandalize” the children watching the show.

She further said that SM has a reputation of being a family-oriented shopping mall and thus cannot allow such “obscene” acts from being displayed like the ones shown by the cordillerans
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For the sake of Christ, spend 3N/4D with HIM!

Here is your opportunity to be blessed with spirituality by taking on a journey to the famous pilgrimage sites north of Manila - from Bulacan to Pampanga, Tarlac to Pangasinan, and Cagayan to Baguio. Among the churches to visit include the Barasoain church of Mt. Carmel, Holy Rosary Cathedral in Angeles, Church of the Risen Christ (Relic of the Holy Cross) in San Jose, Tarlac, Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan, Our Lady of Piat in Penablanca, Cagayan and Baguio Cathedral in the Pines City. Start your journey now in time for the Christmas season. It's a 3N/4D holiday caravan! CLICK READ MORE.....
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Environmentally Good Practices in Hotels and Restaurants

As part of our contribution to mitigating the impact of Climate Change, we are introducing a book published by the International Hotels and Restaurants Association (IHRA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the best practices (Success Stories) in hotel and restaurant management and operation in various countries in the hope of encouraging hotel and restaurant operators to do the same for the sake of our Wounded Planet. Please click on "Climate Change Alert" on the left menu, this page, for review of the compilation. Let us all consider saving this planet Earth part of our daily lives! WE INVITE HOTEL AND RESTAURANT OPERATORS TO POST THEIR COMMITMENT ON HOW TO SAVE THIS WOUNDED PLANET!
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BE HEALED BY THE RELIC OF THE TRUE CROSS

One of the most frequented pilgrimage sites in Central Luzon, the Monasterio de Tarlac is home to the most revered Relic of the True Cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified and died. Now enshrined at the Church of the Servants of the Risen Christ, the reliquary may be venerated during Saturdays and Sundays when liturgical services are held at 10:00 a.m. by the monastic congregation of the Servants of the Risen Christ. Every September 14, during the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross, the reliquary is laid open to the public for veneration.
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Tourist arrivals up by 12.7% in the first half of 2017

PH Arrivals up by 12.7% in First Half of 2017

Manila, Philippines -- Philippine tourism may yet realize its full potential as a top dollar-earning industry even as the legislature strongly agreed to boost next year’s budget of the Department of Tourism (DOT), including a P1 billion marketing fund.

This surfaced as lawmakers rallied behind DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo to mount an “all-out promotion campaign,” as she disclosed yet another double-digit increase in international visitor arrivals for the first semester.

“Amidst setbacks and mounting challenges, tourist arrivals are way up. Beefing up the DOT’s war chest, at least restoring it to its previous level (P1B), would go a long way in boosting our branding campaign that will be at par with those of our Asian neighbors,” Teo stressed.

Teo broke the welcome news Wednesday at the budget hearing conducted by the House Committee on Appropriations, disclosing that foreign tourist arrivals for the period of January to June of 2017 rose by 12.7 percent from 2,978,438 in 2016 to 3,357,591 this year.

South Korea remained as the top tourist market for the country, posting 795,085 arrivals, representing 23.68 percent share of total inbound traffic; followed by the United States with 513,443 (15.29 percent); China, 454,962 (13.55 percent); and Japan, 294,080 (8.76 percent).

Teo noted the surge in tourist arrivals from emerging markets, as well as China, as a significant factor to the higher figures and better tourism industry performance.

Chinese arrivals jumped 33.44 percent with 454,962 visitors compared to last year’s 340,958.

Notable increases were also gained by India at 23.41 percent (54,663 arrivals) and Canada at 18.41 percent (108,243).

Teo said the spike in visitor influx in January with 631,639 arrivals set the momentum for steady increases over the first six months of the year.

“In the face of challenges, the country continued to receive the growing influx of tourists from across the globe, desiring to see our world-class destinations and experience the renowned Filipino hospitality,” Teo said.

During the congressional hearing, the DOT chief reiterated the agency’s commitment to a more competitive branding campaign as it sets higher targets for the coming years.

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Tourism to spur 'Promise of Mindanao'

The promise of a better life for Mindanaoans is within reach if all sectors in the region come together and resolve to contribute, said Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo this week in meetings with tourism stakeholders.

"For our part, we will step up promotion of Mindanao destinations, thereby stimulate creation of jobs in line with our sustainable and inclusive tourism program," said Teo during the two gatherings, one in Zamboanga City and the other in Davao City, with representatives from the local government units, community leaders, residents and travel operators.

“Since the inception of the Duterte administration, we achieved record increases in international arrivals despite the many setbacks beyond our control. We proved that we are up to the challenge and we must keep the momentum going and actively participate in ushering the “Golden Age of Philippine tourism,” Teo stressed.

The DOT chief disclosed she has directed DOT regional offices to utilize the PHP5 million funds for tourism–related projects to complement improved connectivity with visitor markets abroad, and upgrade travel and accommodations services.

“I am also in close coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways to prioritize the construction and rehabilitation of roads leading to the tourist destinations in Mindanao, perhaps the most important of which would be the PHP1.9 billion Island Garden City of Samal Circumferential Road,” said Teo.

For the Zamboanga Peninsula, Teo told DOT-Region 9 Director Butch Blanco to assess the potentials and identify the challenges of visitor destinations in the area.

The DOT chief announced that the Zamboanga International Airport will house a new shop of the Duty-Free Philippines to cater to international and domestic tourists.

Teo stressed that Mindanao can be showcased as a safe tourist haven despite the prevailing Martial Law and conflict situations in some remote areas.

The meetings in Zamboanga City and Davao City coincided with the dinner tributes to soldiers and policemen killed in action in the battle with terrorist rebels in Marawi City.

Joining the soldiers' bereaved families and DOT officials were Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials and the officers of Department of National Defense (DND) Killed-in-Action or Wounded-in-Action (KIA-WIA) program.


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Chinese arrivals to surge with VUA

The Department of Tourism said the implementation of the Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) program may yet catapult China as a top source market of visitors to the Philippines.

The DOT expresses its appreciation for the favorable action of the Department of Justice to DOT’s long-standing proposal to ease the visa rules and procedures, specifically to implement the VUA policy for Chinese visitors.

DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo had pressed for DOJ's approval and implementation of the VUA, as DOT positions the country to become a rightful competitor in international tourism industry.

"We also believe this will serve as an incentive to Chinese guests who may be prospective investors wanting to prove that the country is not only a safe haven for tourists but also a lucrative business location, as well," Sec. Teo said.

Following President Duterte’s state visit to China in mid-October 2016 and the lifting of Beijing’s travel restriction against the Philippines, Chinese arrivals surged to 675,663 by yearend, up by 37.65 percent from 490,841 in 2015.

The phenomenal increase in Chinese arrivals continued into the first half of 2017 as it jumped 33.44 percent with 454,962 visitors compared to last year’s 340,958.

"Accommodating our visiting Chinese friends with a visa grant upon arrival will only help keep the momentum of massive influx of Chinese tourists into the country since the inception of the Duterte administration in July of 2016," added Sec. Teo.

In welcoming our Chinese visitors with open arms, we also share the enthusiasm of DOJ, through the Bureau of Immigration, to foster improved bilateral relations with Beijing.

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DOT steps up promotion of Mindanao tourism

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo called for the intensified support of tourism stakeholders when she met representatives from the local government unit and private sector of Davao and Zamboanga Peninsula regions.

Tulfo has directed all DOT regional Offices to make utilize the PHP5 million funds for tourism–related projects to complement improved connectivity with visitor markets abroad and upgrade travel and accommodations services.

“I am also in close coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways to prioritize the construction and rehabilitation of roads leading to the tourist destinations in Mindanao, perhaps the most important of which would be the One point nine Billion-peso Island Garden City of SAMAL Circumferential road that the DPWH committed to complete before our beloved “Mayor “ steps down,” said Teo, admitting that her native Davao City will always be her favorite destination.

For the Zamboanga Peninsula, DOT led by Regional Director Butch Blanco will further assess the potential and problem a prime tourist destinations.

Zamboanga International Airpor t is being eyed as the new home of Duty Free Philippines providing local and international tourists a service-oriented shopping hub. Region IX is also being prepared to stage more international and national events.

The Tourism Department also paid tribute to the brave and fallen servicemen who fought for the peace and security of Marawi City in collaboration with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defense’s Killed-in-Action or Wounded-in-Action (KIA-WIA) program.

“We in DOT are sympathizing in the loss of your parent, sibling, spouse, and relative. No words can justify how we your partners in government feel as we lose patriotic brave men and women who gave their all for our country, the Philippines,” said the tourism chief, whose father Col. Ramon Tulfo Sr. was also a Constabulary officer.

Members of the audience shared tear-jerking testimonials of their fallen love ones. An emotional photo montage of the Marawi heroes was also presented followed by a communal singing and a comic skit.

"On our part in the Department of Tourism, we will continue to promote Mindanao as a world-class destination in order to create jobs, especially in the countryside. In fact, we will be meeting with tourism stakeholders soon so that we can synergize all our efforts to show to the world the beauty behind our often misunderstood island," the Secretary added.

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DOT, Freediving amb call for ecotourism and ocean preservation

EL NIDO, PALAWAN - Ecotourism and ocean preservation would be the centerpiece of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Philippine Freediving Ambassador Guillaume Néry’s drive as it position the country as Asia’s Freediving capital.

“One of the big challenges for the Philippines to become a worldwide top freediving destination is to promote ocean preservation. People needs to realize that the oceans are endangered and we need to protect them,” said Néry, who is a staunch supporter of Campagne des Ecos Gestes and Antinea Foundation, which specializes in ocean conservation.

Among the highlights of the month-long Philippine freediving expedition of Néry was his stopover at El Nido, Palawan for the Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation Pangatalan Island project, a 4.2 hectares marine protected area surrounded by coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass meadows.

The environment advocate Néry stressed the importance of developing a sustainable way of doing tourism, specifically ecotourism. “It’s not just about consuming the place. It’s also about having an experience, protecting and respecting every place we go,” Néry said.

“We at the Department are conscious for the need of sustainable practices and programs as we develop the freediving segment. Our own masterplan cites the need for the preservation of the environment and promotion of climate change adaptation,” DOT Undersecretary for Tourism
Development Benito Bengzon Jr. said.

DOT is working closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) among other government agencies in the full implementation of the National Ecotourism Strategy (NES) 2013–2022.

“Under the National Ecotourism Strategy, we are developing ecotourism sites including marine sanctuaries accessible to divers and freedivers for low-density tourism activities,” Bengzon added.

Néry joined the coral reef restoration efforts at Pangatalan Island before gracing the grand opening of Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation, a non-profit organization which aims to establish more sustainable projects in Palawan.

Two-time TED talk presenter Néry explained the role of education in supporting ocean conservation at the same time promoting freediving in the country. “If the young generation is aware about the dangers and the problem; it will change the way we are interacting with nature. That’s why I’m here, that’s why I’m gonna go to many places and that is what I’m trying to teach also when I’m here and I do freediving workshops,” Néry explained.

Néry conducted two workshops in Mactan and Moalboal, Cebu in collaboration with Freediving HQ and Freediving Planet. “Free diving clubs and shops also have this role to show ecotourism to these people coming. So it’s the responsibility of everyone to protect the environment, to make people more conscious and open minded about all those problems as we develop the Philippines as the freediving capital of Asia,” Néry said.


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Media Release by:

Public Affairs, Communications, and Special Projects
Philippine Department of Tourism
351 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., 1200, Makati City
Tel no.: (+632) 459 5200 local 316
Website: www.tourism.gov.ph

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Department of Tourism - Region III (Central Luzon)
G/F Marlim Mansions Hotel Bldg., Diamond Subd., Balibago, Angeles City, PHILIPPINES
Recipient: PATA Gold Intl Award 2001, Kalakbay Natl Award 2001, ASEANTA Intl Award 2002 for Best Ecotourism Project
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Tourist arrivals up by 12.7% in the first half of 2017

Tourist arrivals up by 12.7% in the first half of 2017
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