The Philippines Department of Tourism and wholesale custom tour operator Avanti Destinations have launched a new 46-page educational e-brochure for travel agents, The Philippines: Pearl of the Orient Sea, available on Avanti’s agent portal.
Three new destinations within the Philippines, a new five-day customizable FIT itinerary, Secrets of Siargao featuring one of the new regions, and several new private FIT experiences have been added to the tour operator’s Philippines lineup. The new experiences range from volcano trekking, surfing and whale watching to visiting a village of indigenous Aeta people, and a foodie tour of Manila’s Chinatown with the guide who accompanied Anthony Bourdain.
Avanti sells exclusively through travel agents and specializes in helping travel advisors create one-of-a-kind itineraries for independent travelers and custom groups.
“We are excited about our collaboration with Avanti as this new destination e-brochure makes the 7,641 islands of the Philippines more accessible to Avanti’s travel advisors. It offers a wealth of information about our beautiful country that will help advisors propose Philippine itineraries and programs to their clients,” said Zeny Pallugna, PDOT San Francisco senior tourism officer in a statement.
The new e-brochure introduces agents to the history, cuisine, and different regions of this multi-cultural nation consisting of thousands of islands. Videos from the PDOT and useful tips on getting to and around the Philippines are included, as are descriptions of thirteen hand-picked hotels and resorts, including several with world-class golf courses.
“Many people know the Philippines as the place for spectacular beaches, crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving,” said Paul Barry, Avanti’s CEO, in a statement. “What you might not know is that the people are possibly the warmest and friendliest you’ll ever meet, most speak English, the food is amazing, and there are many relatively unknown places perfect for eco-adventures like swimming with the world’s largest fish, volcano-trekking, surfing and spotting wildlife like the tiny tarsier. Add to that the creature comforts of luxury hotels and spa resorts.
“So far our bookings, which have grown 50% from last year, are all in Manila and beautiful El Nido on Palawan Island, but we hope this e-brochure and our introduction of three other destinations will inspire agents to recommend these equally appealing and less-touristed locations to their FIT clients,” added Barry.
“With diverse influences on our country from both east to west, the Philippines is a melting pot of cultures offering American independent travelers unique and meaningful experiences, from festivals, scenery, food, our welcoming people and one of the longest coastlines in the world,” added PDOT San Francisco Tourism Attache Marie Soleil Tropicales.
The new destinations Avanti has added in the Philippines are Bohol, Boracay, and Siargao.
Two hours from Cebu by ferryboat, Bohol is a predominantly agricultural island that is home to white sand beaches, one of the world’s smallest primates, the bug-eyed tarsier, and the fascinating “Chocolate Hills” – more than 1,200 similarly shaped conical hills of grass-covered limestone clustered within a 12,000-acre area, whose formation baffles geologists. Avanti offers a private full-day “countryside experience” that takes travelers through the island’s unique scenery and several towns, finishing with lunch on a 50-minute Loboc River cruise aboard a motorized catamaran.
Voted the best island beach in the world by travelers and publications for many years, Boracay was closed for six months in 2018 by the Philippine government to address the adverse affects of overtourism. With strict guidelines in place to ensure ecological sustainability, Boracay once again welcomes a limited number of tourists looking for beautiful white sand beaches, shallow azure water, luxurious accommodations and activities including parasailing, “paraw” sailing (Philippine-style sailboat), horseback riding, and other soft adventure activities and water sports.
Siargao is a small, less-touristed island on the eastern edge of the Philippines archipelago facing the Pacific, with white sand beaches, waterfalls, coral reefs, and forests. Surfing conditions here are extraordinary; the island is, in fact, the surfing capital of the Philippines with 15 separate “surf breaks”, including the famous “Cloud 9” swell.
Avanti’s new 5 day/4 night customizable itinerary, Secrets of Siargao, includes surfing at Cloud 9, an island-hopping tour with lunch that visits three islands, a tour of Siargao’s Magpupungko rock pools, and plenty of time to snorkel, take surfing lessons, spot wildlife, and explore the forests. Clients stay at the luxurious Bleu Resort & Spa, located on the beach, a five-minute walk from Cloud 9. This itinerary may be combined with stays at the other two new destinations in the Philippines, or stays in Cebu, Manila and Palawan/El Nido.