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Philippine Department of Tourism declares 2015 as ‘Visit the Philippines Year’

The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT), together with its marketing and promotions arm the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), recently launched its new campaign \"Visit the Philippines Year” (VPY), during the Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Philippines. The VPY 2015 campaign will consist of five themes, namely: business meetings; history and culture; lifestyle and entertainment; music and the arts; sports, adventure, and eco-tourism, and is expected to increase the international awareness of the destination and number of visitors to the Philippines to 6 million in 2015.



Philippines Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, said: “Tourism isn’t about the numbers, it is a performance. As such it is dependent on our people. Our beautiful sights are just mere backdrops to the performance. Performance is the ability to turn strangers into friends, sights into memories, and adventures into unforgettable experiences.”



Jimenez added: “The ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ campaign is focused on people, VisitPH2015 on the other hand, is about events, and with this potent combination, we guarantee our tourists of having a good time in our country.”

Some of the key events planned for Visit Philippines Year 2015 include:



Business meetings: The Philippines is set to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meetings and Leaders\' Summit. The APEC meetings will be conducted throughout the country, including metro Manila, Boracay and Iloilo City in the Western Visayas; Tagaytay City in Southern Tagalog; Metro Cebu in the Central Visayas; Bagac, Bataan and Clark; and Pampanga in Central Luzon. This will allow for more foreigners from participating countries of APEC to see more of the country.



History and culture: Aside from the much-awaited visit of Pope Francis in January, the Philippines will commemorate in September the 70th anniversary of the final battles of World War II, alongside the countries involved in the war, to pay homage to the fallen soldiers.



Lifestyle and entertainment: In addition to the year-round fiestas on offer, 2015 will see the Philippines becoming the first country to host the international gastronomic summit Madrid Fusión outside of Spain.



Music and arts: In 2015, the Philippines will see One Direction and Justin Timberlake amongst the biggest acts that will be performing in the country.



Sports, adventure, and eco-tourism: In 2015, more and more international sporting and adventure events are expected to be held in the Philippines. Among these are the Diving Resort Travel Expo in Manila in April and the Siargao International Surfing Competition in August.



Middle Eastern visitors are also encouraged to take advantage of the Visit Philippines Year 2015 schedule of events and attractions, with the return of the ‘Kids go Free’ family campaign slated for the summer months of 2015. Additional campaigns and events are also planned for the Middle East market and are expected to be announced in early 2015. For the first 9 months of 2014 the number of Middle Eastern residents visiting the Philippines increased by 12% compared to the same period in 2013. Visitors from the UAE over the same period increased by 15%, Saudi Arabia increased by 13%, and Bahrain an impressive increase of 20%. Visitor numbers are expected to further increase as new promotional campaigns are launched and flight connectivity between the region and the Philippines continues to increase.

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