Philippines, an attractive destination for Chinese tourists

Update:03 Sep 2011

Like other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines is well-known in China as an “island holiday” destination. And last year, 187,446 mainland Chinese tourists went on holiday to islands in the Philippines, making China the fourth top source of tourism arrivals for the country.

Although these figures are still low compared to neighbouring ASEAN countries, tourism from China to the Philippines over the last seven years has increased steadily at an average rate of more than 20%. The country still has far to go in terms of tourism infrastructure development and security image problems abroad to get a bigger slice of the Chinese market, but the DOT and the Philippine tourism industry has put together a National Tourism Development Plan that will help improve present tourism facilities and services, and increase arrivals for the country in the next five years.

As China’s economy continues to grow stronger, the outbound Chinese tourism market has become more sophisticated and has moved from regular charter holiday group tours to individual and more upmarket packages. The Philippines as an outbound destination for China is keeping up with these market changes with the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) offering new destinations and more upmarket products to maintain growth from this important source of tourism arrivals. To augment the already very popular beach holiday destinations of Boracay, Cebu, and Bohol, the touristic offerings of Palawan, Davao and Laoag/Vigan have also been re-introduced and strongly promoted, particularly in Beijing and northern China. Aside from leisure holidays, the Philippines has also introduced in the Chinese market special packages and tourism products like honeymoon tours, MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) packages, diving, golf, adventure tours, historical and study tours, among others. Shopping, spa and wellness, fresh seafood and good food are a “must” for the China market, as far as the Philippines is concerned. The DOT has also been vigilant in the northern China market against the tour price-cutting wars and so-called zero-based practices of local groundhandlers in other Southeast Asian countries to protect the quality of the Philippine tourism product.

The world-famous warmth and hospitality of the Filipinos transforms a holiday trip to the Philippines from an ordinary, run-of-the-mill Asian beach tour package to a beautiful, unique and fun holiday memory.

Due to increased accessibility and direct international flights to the Philippine cities of Manila, Cebu and Boracay from Beijing and other cities of China, the Philippines has become a very popular destination for Chinese tour groups in the past seven years.

The Philippines is a country rich in tourism resources and the more known destinations in the China market include Manila, Laoag, Vigan, Subic, Tagaytay, Pagsanjan, Puerto Galera, Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol and Davao. This fact is basically because in the past, these are the destinations that have proven themselves to have the capacity to accommodate the size of the Chinese tour groups and the necessary services required by the Chinese outbound market like local mandarin-speaking tour guides, airconditioned buses, local restaurants that sit big groups, etc. .

Manila is the capital of the Philippines and the main embarkation point for tourists,
who usually use Manila as a jump-off point to other parts of the country. A trip to “Intramuros” or the “Walled City” gives visitors a glimpse of the “old” and historical aspect of the city . Highlights of the Intramuros tour include Fort Santiago, Casa Manila, San Augustin Church (a UNESCO World Heritage site), Bahay Tsinoy and Manila Cathedral. Manila is also the main destination for large MICE groups.

Laoag is the gateway to the northern cities and provinces。Vigan is the only surviving Philippine town with a Spanish-Mexican ambience and, with its 180 preserved historic edifices, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A trip to Vigan is like a journey into the past.

Subic, Tagaytay, Pagsanjan and Puerto Galera are some of the more popular destinations closest to Manila, the capital. Subic was a former US military base that is now a commercial and tourism hub. Tagaytay is a favorite weekend getaway because of its picturesque scenery. It also provides the best view to Taal Volcano, the lowest and smallest active volcano in the world. Pagsanjan is famous for the majestic Pagsanjan Falls where one can enjoy shooting the rapids, a thrilling joyride.

Puerto Galera has nice beaches and dive sites, making it a popular place near Manila to learn diving. It can be reached by car and boat ferry from Manila.

Going to the Central and Southern parts of the Philippines, we have Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol and Davao :

Palawan is considered by many as “the Last Frontier” because of its unique flora & fauna. Palawan has more eco-tourism areas than any other province in the country. Some of the more interesting places to visit in Palawan are : the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site); Cowrie Island, Dos Palmas Arreceffi Island Resort; Taytay; El Nido; and the Calamianes Islands of Busuanga, Coron and Culion. The islands that compose the province of Palawan boast of some of the best upmarket resorts and fantastic divesites in the Philippines. In fact, one of the rare underwater UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, is found within the province.

Boracay, surrounded by crystal-clear waters and complemented by a 4-kilometer powdery white-sand beach is hailed as one the “finest beaches in the world.” The island is a fun place for leisure travelers, who want to just relax and take it easy and is the “best-seller” Philippine destination in China for island holidays.

Cebu is known for its historical sites, beach resorts, mangoes, guitar and furniture factories, while the island of Bohol is known for its Chocolate Hills, the tarsier monkey (the smallest monkey in the world), the Loboc-Loay River cruise, dolphin and whale-watching around Pamilacan island, and excellent underwater scenery for snorkeling or diving.

Davao, a charming city of exotic orchids, colorful ethnic tribes & holiday resorts, is presently getting a lot of “buzz” from the northern Chinese tourism market and media due to the combined marketing and promotional efforts of the DOT and the local Davao city government and tourism industry. This city known as “the food basket of the Philippines” offers a choice of both highland and island holiday fun, which is going well with the fast-changing tourism market in China.

The present refurbishment of domestic airports in the more popular Philippine destinations and the involvement of the local tourism industry in training and improvement of local tourism services to better serve not only the Chinese market but the rest of the international tourists will enable the Philippines to say "Mabuhay” to a bigger share of the market from China and the rest of the world.

SOURCE: Philippines Consulate in Xiamen

Details of flights from Xiamen to Manila

The flying distance from Xiamen to Manila is 1145 kilometers (equals to 711 miles or 618 nautical miles.)
Your flight will depart from Xiamen airport (24° 32' 39'' N,118° 7' 40'' E) and land at Manila airport (14° 36' 15" N,120° 58' 56" E).
Xiamen is 2 hours ahead of Manila.
96 flights per week fly out of Xiamen, CN connecting to Manila, PH
34,832 seats are available per day to fly out of Xiamen, CN connecting to Manila, PH
China S has the most nonstop flights between Xiamen, CN and Manila, PH.
12 airlines operate between Xiamen, CN and Manila, PH
The smallest aircraft operated by Cathay flying between Xiamen, CN and Manila, PH is a 32S with 158 seats. The largest aircraft operated by Malaysia flying between Xiamen, CN and Manila, PH is a 330 with 292 seats.
The shortest flight between Xiamen, CN and Manila, PH on Dragonair is 1,020 miles.
Hong Kong, HK is the most popular connection for one stop flights between Xiamen, CN and Manila, PH.

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