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Eye of Riyadh
Tourism & Hospitality | Thursday 7 May, 2015 12:21 am |

Philippine Department of Tourism Launches Arabic Website

The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) has announced the official launch of its new Arabic experiential website, designed to encourage visitors to spend more time interacting with the destination online as part of PDOT Middle East office’s initiative to promote ‘Visit Philippines Year’ to the Middle East market.

The Arabic website was launched on May 4, 2015 by Philippine Department of Tourism Undersecretary Mr. Benito Bengzon Jr. at the Philippine Pavilion at the Arabian Travel Market being held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The initiative is expected to generate greater outreach, engagement and awareness for the Philippines as an ideal luxury destination for exciting urban lifestyle and shopping experiences, family attractions, idyllic beach and mountain luxury resorts and outdoor adventures for visitors from the Middle East.

With right-to-left reading navigation, attractive photography and descriptive and informative content, the colourful site showcases Philippines’ top-notch destinations and list of things to do, upcoming events and festivals, on-going campaigns and promotions and general information about travelling to Philippines. Arab travellers can plan their holiday by exploring the website and reading informative articles and contents for a seamless experience with every visit.

Says Mr. Benito Bengzon, Undersecretary, Philippine Department of Tourism: “The Philippines is renowned for its fun, vibrant and world class destinations, which we can now extend to our Arabic visitors online.”

Added Bengzon, “The new site is designed to encourage our Arabic visitors to spend more time learning about the country’s top travel destinations. By providing a simple and informative tool within reach through their smartphones, tablets and PC, we aim to offer the same delightful experience and genuine hospitality online as we do in the Philippines.”

The new Arabic website was launched with the Philippine Department of Tourism Undersecretary Mr. Benito Bengzon, Her Excellency Grace Relusio Princesa – Philippine Ambassador to UAE, His Excellency Frank R. Cimafranca - Philippine Consul General to Dubai, Director Verna Esmeralda Covar-Buensuceso, Officer-In-Charge of the Department of Tourism – Market Development Group, Mr. Stalingrad Samson, Middle East Desk Officer, and Philippine co-exhibitors at the Arabian Travel Market Philippine Pavilion.

The new Philippine Department of Tourism Arabic website can be viewed at www.itsmorefuninthephilippines.ae. The website is linked to PDOT’s general website and available in eight languages such as: Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesia, Mandarin, Cantonese, German, Korean and Japanese.

This year, the Philippines celebrates ‘Visit Philippines Year’. There are special festivals and events being held throughout the year that are based on the following themes: history and culture; lifestyle and entertainment; music and the arts; and sports, adventure and eco-tourism. During the year, a number of popular international musical events including MTV Music Evolution and Justin Timberlake’s ‘Take the Spotlight’ World Tour will be staged in the Philippines, in addition to special culinary events such as the recently-concluded Madrid Fusión Manila - one of the world’s most celebrated gastronomic events held for the first time in Asia this year.

A total of 76,163 visitors from the G.C.C. visited the Philippines in 2014, resulting in a 10% increase compared to 2013 figures. Amongst those, the number from Saudi Arabia was the highest at 43,483 travellers, which was an increase of 11.5% compared to the year before. Visitors from the United Arab Emirates were the next highest, followed by visitors from Kuwait. The Philippine Department of Tourism is hoping that through such promotional efforts as the Arabic website, demand for travel from the region will continue to grow in 2015.

The Philippine Department of Tourism also recently launched the “Kids Go Free Campaign 2015” which has been designed exclusively for families (both nationals and expatriates), living in the G.C.C. with offers of exceptional value. The campaign packages were launched last month in Riyadh and provide two children per family under the age of 11 with an exciting array of activities, food, accommodation and other experiences all on a complimentary basis. Additionally, the packages allow families to twin both the Philippines capital Manila with a choice of one other exotic Philippine destinations such as Cebu, Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Davao or Bicol, allowing for both an urban and idyllic island getaway experience.

The Philippines’ no visa requirement for G.C.C. and many other nationals, plus it’s many popular shopping experiences, tranquil beaches and numerous family-friendly attractions has resulted in an increasing number of G.C.C. residents choosing to make the Philippines their holiday destination of choice.

Added Bengzon: “We hope to see as many people as possible at the Arabian Travel Market 2015 to fully help visitors plan their next Philippines adventure. Information regarding Visit the Philippines Year and the special Kids Go Free campaign will also be available. We are excited that these campaigns and special promotions will be valid throughout the year, including the upcoming summer holiday season. We hope many families will take advantage of these great value offers full of Philippine fun for all!”
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