Boom in Philippines Cruise Tourism

The Philippines is getting a share of cruise passenger traffic, largely due to the global interest in Southeast Asia as the newest cruise destination. The Department of Tourism (DOT) is bullish on cruise tourism, as visiting international cruise liners contribute significantly to foreign tourist arrivals. The latest to make its inaugural call at Philippine ports on October 26-27, 2012, was the Florida-based Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas, with 2,500 tourists onboard the vessel. The cruise tourists toured Manila’s famous spots and explored the white powdery beaches of Boracay island.

Cruise lines that regularly stop in Manila as part of their tour package include the P&O Cruises’ Oriana, Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Silversea’s Silver Spirit, and Swan Hellenic’s MV Minerva. More cruise ships are scheduled to make Philippine port calls in 2013. Part of government’s cruise tourism roadmap is to create tour packages showcasing magnificent attractions and amenities under “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” brand campaign.

But cruise tourism is not only about arrivals, but also involves developing and upgrading of ports, terminals, and facilities to meet international cruise shipping standards, as well as cooperating and networking with regional and international cruise operators to include the Philippines in Southeast Asian itineraries. With the building and repair of major sea and jetty ports and harbors, the government sees more international cruise liners to arrive in the Philippines. The DOT and Philippine Ports Authority are partnering to prepare ports in tourism gateways such as Davao, Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Metro Manila, Puerto Princesa, Subic and Zamboanga, that form part of major nautical cruise arteries.

The DOT unveiled on October 4, 2012 during the Pacific Asia Travel Association Travel Mart 2012 its National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), which seeks to achieve 10 million international visitor arrivals, employ 6.8 million workers in the tourism sector, and generate R1.9 trillion in tourism receipts by 2016.

We congratulate the Department of Tourism led by Hon. Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. and Philippine Ports Authority General Manager Atty. Juan C. Sta. Ana, in their partnership to spur the growth of cruise tourism in the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

Source: Manila Bulletin