Tourism: The Philippines

The Philippines is made of 7,107 islands, and each of them has something to offer every visitor that comes to explore this rich country. May it the beaches in Boracay, the secret lagoons and rich dive sites of El Nido and Coron, the underground river of Puerto Prinsesa or just the breathtaking sunset of Manila Bay; nature has blessed the country with an abundance of beauty. But the fun doesn’t end with these natural wonders; the country is also well-known for the warmth of its people, delectable food and diverse culture. These have not gone unnoticed, as the growing number of visitors every year. For 2015, there have been 4,395,812 arrivals according to the Department of Tourism. The United States has contributed the 2nd largest number of influx with more than 636,658 or 14.48% of total number of visitors.

Boracay, which is widely known as the one of the best beaches in the world, has remained as the top tourist destination in the country. Crystal clear waters, fine white sand and captivating sunsets have attracted travelers around the world, and Discovery Shores Boracay have been in forefront of complementing these experiences with the warmth of Filipino hospitality. Mr. Jose Parreño Jr., COO of The Discovery Leisure Company Incorporated (TDLCI), shares what makes Discovery Shores Boracay special and why guests keep on coming back.

What really makes Discovery Shores in Boracay special is our staff. It’s the human touch, the Filipino touch of Service. When we built it, we really anchored on the staff. You can make a great architecture, you can design beautiful rooms but those are hardware. You know, people when they come especially when you become a repeat guest, they’re all going to be the same. After 3 or 5 years, it’s still hardware. You can innovate or renovate but you can’t talk to them, you can’t relate to them. From the very beginning, not only in Boracay, when we opened Discovery Suites in Ortigas, the prime mover of our hotels is really our staff. ” 

He also shares the different amenities and services that Discovery Shores Boracay offers.

When we opened our property in Boracay, our main market segment is family. I think we did it right because right now it’s what you call the small-type generation of family travelers. We’ve highlighted families and we acknowledge the fact that we should be family-friendly in terms of kids. We’ve also focus in the market of honeymoon which is a big market in Asia. Philippines is near Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong. We’ve cut through that market as well. We’ve added the spa to compliment the facility of the rooms. It’s not fine dining because the restaurant is al fresco on the beach. It’s in the middle of the property which serves in daytime at the beachfront, in the afternoon as a cocktail area but in the evening, it serves another set of cuisine. We have an all-day dining which is called Sands. We also have a bar and a lounge, not just for in-house guest but for other guests of Boracay. Where we are located is a long 3.2-km stretch of white sand beach. Unlike in Palawan which is mostly composed of islands, if you have a hotel in an island, you just stay there. But in Boracay, there’s about 200-300 establishments in the main Island. It’s like Bali.

Mr. Parreño continues to share about their ongoing projects and future plans of extending their expertise to new tourist destination in the country.

Right now, we have a property in Coron, The Club Paradise. It is a 20-year old property owned by another company before. We bought it in 2013 and in 2016; we are going to fully renovate the whole island. Club Paradise is totally different from Boracay. It’s a beautiful island meant for total relaxation. It’s a haven away from technology. It’s a different feel but the beach is beautiful. It’s a totally different scenario there than in Boracay. We are also in the stage of developing another resort in another part of Palawan which is in El Nido. It’s a 7-hectare property. The Master Plan is also starting next year. We also have another beautiful property in Palawan in San Vicente. But there’s no airport yet. Once the airport is open and the roads are ready, you will love San Vicente. 

For those adventure seekers, the Siargao Island has risen in popularity to be a world-class surfing destination. Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa, had been an accommodating host to this thrill-seekers by providing them with numerous outdoor activities, such as island-hopping, kite-surfing, diving and access to the island’s main surfing attraction, Cloud 9. Yet after the day, the guest can still enjoy the comfort that resort through their world class amenities.

The country is also gaining popularity as a good place for investment and business. And the metropolitan offers a different kind of experience for those who are in for business trips.

The country is also gaining popularity as a good place for investment and business. And the metropolitan offers a different kind of experience for those who are in for business trips. World-class hotels and casinos have been sprawling through the cities, restaurants and historical sites are waiting to share the country’s rich culture and heritage. Though public transport can be a challenge for most guests, Hertz Philippines has seen this opportunity and offers the safest way to get around this bustling metropolis. Ms. Agnes Tuason, managing director of Hertz Philippines tells us more about their company and their advantage.

Hertz is the number 1 car rental company in the world. We are the main competitor of Avis but Hertz still leads ahead when it comes to car rental industry. The Limcaoco actually acquired the license franchise from Hertz Singapore in 2006. They are the 4th owner of the franchise in the Philippines. But it was already here in the early 1990s. Hertz is very famous for cars with chauffeur drive. Everybody, even in the states, wants chauffeur-driven cars in going around, getting rid of the hustles while doing what you’re rushing for at the back of the car while your driver takes care of you. I guess this is what separates us from the other car company because we have professional drivers. With the kind of traffic that you will go through, you would prefer to be driven around by a professional chauffeur. I could say that in the next 5 years, Hertz will be bigger than where it is now because when I came in, there were only a few corporate accounts who has expats as member of the boards used to renting cars while back home or abroad. But now, our corporate accounts that we have are growing.

Lastly, she shares the commitment of Hertz Philippines in promoting tourism in the country.

We got a tagline for our tourism promotion which is “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.” It is because there’s a lot to see in the Philippines. Us being part of the travel industry, we have to say, most of the people coming here would always have a chance to experience what Hertz is all about because they’ll be met at the airport and then, driven to another location. But outside of Metro Manila, there’s a lot to see about the Philippines. This is a small country but we probably have 2 of the biggest malls in the world. We got Mall of Asia and Megamall with SM North Edsa and Trinoma also there. We have several concert venues. There’s Boracay and Palawan. We also have the Chocolate Hills in Bohol. These are just some of the sites that you need to see to find out why it is more fun in the Philippines. And also I guess, we Filipinos are warm and welcoming people. We make sure that your stay is worth remembering. So even if it’s just a simple car, Hertz is committed to give you more fun while here in the Philippines.