rose delos santosThe Philippines is one of the less well known destinations in Asia, but there is so much in this country to keep every traveller happy. Rose Delos Santos from G’Day Philippines gives travelBulletin the low down on this fascinating country.


How popular is the Philippines among Australians?

Despite the 26% surge of Australians visiting the Philippines in 2012 (and steadily growing), this destination seems to be underestimated by Australian tourists in favour of its neighbours (Thailand, Vietnam and Bali).

What are the most popular attractions for Australians?

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed rice terraces of Banaue and Batad. The Boracay Island’s White Beach of powdery sand and heavenly sunsets. The unspoilt Palawan, with limestone cliffs, pristine beaches, and crystal lagoons. Manila’s shopping Malls and Markets. Diving in Coron, where more than a dozen Japanese ships were sunk during World War II. Coral-rich reefs teeming with tropical fish, turtles, sharks and dugongs. A nightlife that never ends until the crack of dawn.

What distinguishes the Philippines from other destinations in Asia?

Affordable food, activities and entertainment. Unlike other Asian countries, there are many developed areas in the Philippines set on beautiful beaches where there are hardly any foreigners, which is appealing to a lot of people. English is a widely spoken language amongst Filipinos.

What should an agent consider when selling the Philippines?

Climate – the Philippines has 2 seasons, wet and dry. The rainy season is from 01 June to 31 October, sometimes with annual onslaught of dangerous storms. Travellers are generally safe in and outside the cities. Like in any other parts of the world, caution and common sense must be exercised at all times.

What kind of travellers are heading to the Philippines?

Adventure seekers (surfing, diving), weddings and honeymooners, family holidays and schoolies (they are starting to seek Boracay as an alternative destination to Bali).

What activities would you include on a first-time visitor’s itinerary?

Depending on the travellers, if they are after an island with lots of activities and entertainment, I would recommend Boracay.White Beach is Boracay’s most developed stretch of shore, lined with resorts, hotels, bars, restaurants and even a shopping mall. There’s ample of watersports, too. For first time travellers who prefer laidback holidays, the island of Palawan is a heavenly island with nature paradise and calm atmosphere, a perfect place to relax because of its beautiful beaches, waterfalls and hot springs. A stopover for a couple of nights in Manila on the way home is highly recommended to experience its world-class amenities.

Is the Philippines considered an expensive destination, and is cost a significant factor for Australians?

Food, shopping and activities are very affordable. Accommodation cost varies but with 4 to 5 star hotels and resorts, it tends to be slightly more compared to similar properties in Thailand and Indonesia. Although cost is a factor for Australians, packages can still be put together to suit their budget.

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