Visit Philippines Year 2015 Kicks Off in Malaysia

1 December 2014 - Visit Philippines Year 2015 (VPY 2015) formally had its launching in Malaysian soil in ceremonies held during the annual Philippine Tourism Appreciation Night last November 28 at the Oriental Banquet Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.

Present during the launching were Tourism Promotion Board Chief Operating Officer Domingo Ramon Enerio III, Philippine Department of Tourism Marketing Director for Malaysia and Thailand Datin Melissa Ong and Embassy Charge d'Affaires (CDA), a.i. Medardo G. Macaraig.

In his opening remarks and the event's guest of honor, CDA Macaraig noted the positive developments in Philippine tourism in Malaysia.

"Malaysians have been seeing the Philippines as an attractive tourist destination with its relative distance from their country, and the increasing number of connections between our two countries. At the same time, the various tourism awards bestowed to our key destinations also piqued Malaysian interests," he said.

Malaysia posted the highest growth rate in tourist arrivals to the Philippines for the first nine months of the year at 22.84 percent or 99,167 tourist arrivals from the previous year. Malaysia is currently the ninth largest source of tourist arrivals for the same period.

"Because of this, we are more than confident that we will reach the 100,000 mark in tourist arrivals for the third straight year. We expect Philippine tourism to maintain its upward trajectory as we launch VPY 2015 today. I believe that next year will be a flurry of activity in Philippine tourism, with several activities and events are lined up to draw in both domestic and foreign tourists in the country," CDA Macaraig added.

For his part, Mr. Enerio noted that the VPY 2015 aims to refresh the Philippine tourism slogan of "it's more fun in the Philippines," and encouraged those present to actively participate in promoting Philippine tourism.

"The beauty of our tourism slogan is that is it 'easy to carry'—Filipinos can easily share the fun and convey to others the wonderful sights of the Philippines and the warmth and hospitality of the Filipino people. It also challenges us to walk the talk to promote our destinations, as tourism is the people's business," he said.
VPY 2015 aims to reposition the Philippines as a destination for meetings, international conferences and events, where several festivals and activities will be undertaken the entire year to entice tourists to visit the country. Other activities that will be happening next year in the Philippines include the visit of Pope Francis in January and the hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in November.

A website, visitph2015.com, has also been created for the purpose.

During the event, raffle prizes and entertainment were provided to the guests, composed of Malaysian travel agencies and tour operators which service the Philippines, members of the Malaysian travel media and other guests. END