a country of islands and sea, the Philippine archipelago
has a wealth of tourist attractions that are just as
diverse as the people that live in it. Pristine beaches,
lush forests, cosmopolitan cities, among others, never
fail to capture the heart of any foreign traveller.
No wonder that the Philippine tourism sector is facing
bright prospects as tourist arrivals registered significant
growth in recent years, driven by a surge of tourists
from Cina, Korea, and the United States. Preliminary
data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) show that
tourist arrivals reached 2.11 million for the first
10 months of 2005, surpassing the 2.6 million-target
for the whole year.
China remains the country's fastest-growing market,
as it recorded a massive growth of 188.9% jump to 10,644
visitors in 2004. For the following year, however, the
DOT identified Korea, the US, and japan as the country's
top tourism markets. The DOT has subsequently launched
market-specific tourism campaigns to attract visitors
from these countries.
Despite political unrest in the country, the tourism
sector recorded a remarkable upturn which can be attributed
to the government's extensive tourism campiagns, as
well as the influx of travellers displaced by the naturaal
calamities that hit is neighbouring countries. Countries
hit by the 2004 tsunami lost potential visitors to countries
like the Philippines.
MOST POPULAR SPOTS
The Western Visayas region remains the country's premier
tourism capital because of its famous white sand beaches
and numerous diving destinations. A total of 167 mostly
white-sand islands and islets surround the mainland.
Among the tourists' favorites are Mactan, Moalboal,
Malapascua, and Bantayan Island for thier rich diving
experience they offer, as well as for their rich diving
experience they offer, as well astheir picturesques
beaches. Cebu's Olango Island, which hosts the largest
number of migratory birds in the country, and the whale
and dolphin sanctuaries of Bais, Negros Oriental has
also made the region an ecological tourism hotspot.
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By itself, India is of late attracting
quite a number of tourists; the country has been identified
by travel guidebooks Lonely Planet and Frommers
as among the trendliest destinations of 2006.
The newfound popularity of yoga, the increasing awareness
of ayurveda (traditional Indian healing science), and
the country's rich historyb have kept tourists interested
in coming to the country. Indian industry website www.expresshospitality.com
cites a 2003 Spa Consumer Survey that found 93% of respondents
looked for a spa resort or a day when travelling, and
5% of the respondents identified India as a potential
spa holiday destination.
The multi-million dollar "incredible India"
campaign no doubt helped boost Indian tourism. Launched
in 2002, the campaign is credited for the increase in
the number of tourists coming in India. Prior to the
"Incredible India" campaign, The Tourism Ministry
depended on individual campigns of its officers posted
at various overseas offices whose output levels largely
influenced the tourist inflow from that country. "Incredible
India" is the first time Indian tourism mounted
a concerted, focused, aand centralised effort to increase
Before the campaign, India was perceived to have aa
very limited tourism product that included the Golden
Triangle, Goa, kerala, and Himalayas etc. "Incredible
India" focused on the country's diversity, it scolors,
food, flavours, people, and various cultures. It also
highlighted both the historical and modern India.
Government figures report a 25% increaase in tourist
arrivals in 2004, and a 36% increase in forex earnings
from the sector year-on-year. these are the highest
arrival figures the country has ever experienced. Overall,
the tourism sector, which attracted over three million
visitors in 2004, contributed US$ 4.8 billion to the
econpomy in 2005.
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