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Philippines releases first cruise guide highlighting its ports
Rosa Ocampo, Manila, March 17, 2014

THE Department of Tourism (DoT) has rolled out its maiden cruise manual Cruising Philippines, Asia's Caribbean in a bid to increase the destination's share of the growing market in Asia.


The 45-page manual outlines the country’s various ports, capacities and infrastructure, tourist attractions and shore excursions.


“We’re promoting the country to investors and encouraging cruise ships to include the Philippines in their itineraries and to make it their homeport,” said Warner Andrada, division chief for product development.


Wally Cervantes, vice president and general manager, Arpan Air, which represents several cruise lines in the Philippines, said the manual is a step in the right direction in promoting the Philippines as cruise destination. "Most cruise companies are looking at Asia and new ports that they can visit."


Cervantes added: “But I hope they will not stop there. They should also look at how to improve our product offering in terms of improving the facilities at the ports and the activities available to cruise passengers.”


Marilyn Tunguia, inbound tour supervisor, Sharp Travel Service, ground handler of Hapag-Lloyd cruise ships, said the manual generated awareness about other Philippine destinations. “Boracay and Palawan are popular, but it’s good that other destinations like Hundred Islands in Pangasinan and Kalanggaman in Leyte are also being brought to the radar of cruise operators.”


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