4 October 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said today that the First Ambassador's Tour of the Philippines was one the tour packages highlighted by the Philippine booth during the MITM Travel Fair at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
The tour is scheduled for November 25 to 27, in cooperation with the Department of Tourism.
"To highlight the Malaysian people's increasing interest on the Philippines and showcase the unique attractiveness of Philippine tourism destinations, we have put together a tour of the Philippines, which will be joined by the Ambassador. We ask our Malaysian friends and Filipino community members to join us in rediscovering an exciting destination which is literally next door. As we prepare ourselves for the establishment of one ASEAN Community in 2015, its best that we get to know each other better," Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya said.
"With the ever-ready smiles of Filipinos, we are not simply promoting an exciting tourism destination, but also sharing the renowned hospitality of the Filipino people," he added.
In 2012, 114,513 Malaysians visited the Philippines, an increase of 24.81 percent from 2011, breaching the 100,000 mark for the first time and making Malaysia its 10th largest tourist market. The Philippines had 4.27 tourist arrivals last year, the Ambassador stated.
The maiden edition of the Ambassador's Tour will take participants to the wonders of Manila and nearby areas, with visits to the Rizal National Monument and Park, the Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral and Casa Manila in the historic walled city Intramuros and the Chinese Cemetery.
There would also be a chance to cool down and relax at the Villa Escudero in the nearby province of Laguna, where participants would have the opportunity to ride carabao-drawn carts to a man-made waterfall and a cultural show.
Participants can also shop at the SM Mall of Asia, one of the world's biggest shopping and leisure complex which is by the famed Manila Bay, and savor the unique Filipino cuisine. There are also optional tours to the island of Corregidor which guards the entrance to Manila Bay and see MacArthur's wartime headquarters, or go to cool Tagaytay for a trek to the Taal Volcano, a mini-volcano within a lake.
Air traffic between the two countries has increased, allowing Malaysian travelers more options on how to go and visit the Philippines.
AirAsia, Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines, PAL Express and Malaysia Airlines have flights from Manila to Kuala Lumpur. Cebu Pacific and AirAsia have flights from Manila to Kota Kinabalu, with the former recently launching a Kuala Lumpur-Cebu service. MASWings, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, is scheduled to launch a Kota Kinabalu-Puerto Princesa (Palawan) service starting 28 October.
Organized by the Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association, the MITM Travel Fair is an annual mid-year consumer tourism and travel event, where different segments of tourism players to display and offer their attractive affordable packages and promotions especially targeted for consumers' travel in the second half of the year. The DOT is one of the main sponsors of the event.
The travel fair opened today and will run until October 6.
The DOT recently upgraded its tourist arrival targets for 2013 to 5.5 million foreign tourist arrivals from 5 million, banking on South Korean, Japanese and Chinese tourists continuing to visit the country, as well as looking at other promising markets and segments for a wider base of tourism growth, such as Malaysia, Russia, India, the Middle East, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
It targets 10 million foreign visitors to the Philippines by 2016, and 35 million domestic tourists. END