With Connections Wellbeing Philippines (16-19 April 2023) just around the corner, we recently had the pleasure of speaking with Mavic Sevilla, Acting Head International Promotions Department from the Tourism Promotions Board Philippines to get an inside scoop on what makes the Philippines a unique and luxurious destination for travellers.
From its warm and welcoming culture to its stunning marine life, the Philippines offers an unforgettable travel experience for those seeking luxury and adventure. Mavic shares with us her personal experiences of the country’s beauty and what attendees can look forward to at the upcoming Connections Wellbeing Philippines event. Additionally, she highlights how this event will transform inbound tourism in the country, making it a must-visit destination for luxury travellers.
Tell us about your personal experience as a native of the Philippines. What is one aspect of this country that makes it unique and worth visiting?
It would have to be the people. We Filipinos are known for our own brand of TLC, evident in the high demand and regard for our nurses, caregivers and service industry personnel the world over. The people’s warm and friendly spirit also tops tourist exit surveys every year as the principal reason for a visitor’s enjoyable stay.
Another unique feature about the Philippines in Asia is its predominantly Catholic population. Having been a colony of Spain for over 300 years, Christianity was spread throughout most of the islands. When the Americans took over the reins for the next 50 or so years, education was among the blessings of their rule leading to another feature – the country’s facilitation with the English language.
In addition to being an archipelago of 7,641 islands (2nd biggest in the world), the Philippines’ undersea life is unmatched. In a published study entitled “The Philippines, The Center of the Center of Marine Fish Biodiversity”, scientists have established that the country has the most fish and coral species on the planet.
What makes the Philippines a “go-to” destination for luxury travellers this year?
Luxury travel has evolved from its focus on five-star accommodations to curated and bespoke experiences. The Philippines is rich with private islands and award-winning shores, unique tailored and immersive experiences, and world-class entertainment. Coupled with its renowned Filipino brand of hospitality, the Philippines is primed to cater to discerning travellers with tailored experiences that integrates global standards of hospitality services with immersive cultural amenities.
The world stage has already acknowledged the strength of the Philippines as a leisure, MICE and investment destination.
A few of our honours include:
- In 2022, the 29th World Travel Awards recognised the Philippines as the World’s Leading Dive and Beach Destination; and Intramuros as Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction.
- Conde Nast Traveler 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards named Boracay as the top island in Asia, with Palawan ranking eighth.
- The Philippines also ranked 30th among the top countries in the world, while also placing 10th among the friendliest countries in the world.
- Palawan bagged the Most Desirable Island in the 21st Wanderlust Travel Awards 2022.
- The Philippines was also named the Destination of the Year in the 31st TTG Travel Awards.
- US-based travel magazine, Travel+Leisure hailed Boracay, Palawan and Cebu as the world’s best islands.
How do you think the Connections Wellbeing Philippines event will change inbound tourism within the country? What does the Philippines currently offer visitors seeking wellbeing-focused travel?
Having the Connections Wellbeing event in the Philippines will allow the country to showcase its luxury offerings. The Philippines, while being known as a beach and dive destination, is still in its infancy stage as being regarded as a luxury destination. With more international buyers learning more about the country’s luxury wellness offerings, the event can hopefully raise awareness of the amazing opportunities avail in the country.
The Philippines has various five-star accommodations that integrate wellness services from traditional spa services to bespoke health practices. The list of wellness retreats and resorts are growing as Eastern and Western healing practices are bridged in these facilities. Moreover, the Philippines is also growing its popularity when it comes to elective cosmetic and dental surgeries.
Why has the Philippines Tourism Promotion Board chosen to have a Connections event instead over a typical conference? What prompted this decision?
The Tourism Promotions Board believes in expanding its reach through innovative events that effectively capture a market’s attention and creates better conversion opportunities. Connections stands as one of the key international events that drive business results and we are delighted to host the event in the Philippines.