Published on : Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Daks Fernandez Gonzales, Head, Office of Product and Market Development for India and the Middle East, Philippines Department of Tourism, said that Philippines is world renowned for its idyllic beach locations, shopping and for being fun. By introducing the various cultural experiences on offer, along with eco-tourism elements, we hope Middle Eastern visitors will return time and again to explore more of what the Philippines has to offer from a cultural perspective that not only supports sustainable tourism for our communities, but is a great experience for families and avid travellers alike.
The figures published by the Department of Tourism showed that about there are 7.66 per cent more tourists from Oman vacationing in the Philippines in September 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Year-on-year growth in tourism from Oman was also recorded from January-July 2018, with 1,673 people from Oman visiting the Philippines, an increase of 2.95 per cent.
The department will aim at boosting these figures by offering visitors the opportunity to discover local villages, traditional communities, and the nation’s rich cultural diversity. Filipinos in Oman were delighted with the news. Roland Leaño, Chairman of Pinoy Ballers of Oman, said that they think it’s a good idea, as it will not only contribute to the economy but also to the longstanding relationship between the Philippines and the Middle East.
James, a Filipino based in Muscat, added that they believe it is a good initiative. This type of bilateral engagement will definitely ensure that visitors to our country get to make the most of their time. Home to 7,107 islands and more than 175 ethnolinguistic groups, the department is aiming to boost tourism through first-hand experiences involving heritage, folklore, traditions and crafts of each local community. Among the many trips proposed by the department are visits to seafaring tribes that have maintained their centuries-old way of life. This includes the Badjao of the Sulu Islands, renowned for their artistically-woven cloth and colorful sails. The Muslim-majority Badjaos are also popular for their traditional songs and dance, just like the Lumad, who also reside in Southern Philippines.
Those looking to join their own Filipino tribe will not have to look far, with the tribal village of Tagbaobo, less than two hours from Davao City, accepting all those who want to become members.