Virgin islands, impregnable jungles, interesting wildlife and stunning beaches generously sprinkled with white sands. Add to that a culture that’s wowed every living space in this world and cuisine that simply divine. I always knew that the Philippines ranks high on every avid traveller’s list of ‘Places To Visit Before I Die’. Only I had absolutely no idea that more than four million people share my opinion.
Yes, for the first time ever the number of inbound travellers to the Philippines reached a record high of 4,272,811 in 2012. This marked an increase of almost 10 per cent over the 2011 figure! When the proud Department of Tourism, Philippines, announced this it also did not miss the fact the Indian market contributed significantly to this awesome new record with around 8 per cent growth from 2011.
Global markets reacted favourably to the ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ campaign last year. The campaign was a runaway hit. Obviously. Manila is one of the first cities of the world. And who does not want to soak in the historical past of this pulsating archipelago? That’s possibly a big reason for this heavy inflow of international tourists in the country.
But the Indian traveller was specifically pampered. Komal Seth who heads the Philippines Tourism Marketing Office in India feels that the visa free scheme for Indian travellers with valid AJACSS UK visa was a vital factor in the Indian sentiment inclining towards the Philippines last year.
Now the Philippines is at the top of my list of ‘Places To Visit Before I Die’… What about you?