Philippine Department of Tourism launches ‘Kids Go Free’ Campaign to promote the Philippines as the ultimate family holiday destination

Campaign value and no visa requirement for GCC nationals expected to entice increased travel during Eid Al Adha holidays

4115The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT), in cooperation with travel partners from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the Philippines, has launched a ‘Kids Go Free’ campaign to promote the Philippines as an ideal holiday destination for families seeking leisure, relaxation, and fun experiences. The launch, which was held at the Shangri-La Hotel Dubai on August 18th, provided travel agents with detailed information regarding the campaign and travel to the Philippines. It is the first time the Philippine Department of Tourism has conducted a ‘Kids Go Free’ promotion in the Gulf countries, the timing of which has been designed to be valid throughout the Eid Al Adha holidays.

The ‘Kids Go Free’ campaign is the most recent initiative by PDOT that focuses on reintroducing the Philippines as a family destination and offers holiday packages coupled with excellent value for families. The campaign packages are available immediately right through to the end of October 2014 and span six-nights/seven-days, during which two children per family under the age of 11 can enjoy an exciting array of activities, food, accommodation and other experiences all on complimentary basis.

The packages have been tailored to showcase the very best that the Philippines has to offer and include a three-night stay in Manila followed by an additional three-night stay in a regional paradise destination such as: Cebu, Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Davao or Bicol. Also included within the packages are airport and hotel transfers, daily breakfast, a half-day city tour of Manila and the chosen regional destination, English-speaking guide and complimentary Qur’an. Over 30 hotels and resorts ranging from luxury five-star to stylish three-star accommodation are participating in the campaign, as are popular amusement and theme parks including the Enchanted Kingdom, Manila Ocean Park, Zoobic Safari, Paradise Ranch, Subic Zoocobia and Ocean Adventure.

Assistant Secretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr., Officer-in-Charge of the Tourism Development, PDOT said, “We have launched this campaign exclusively for families from the Middle East to encourage them to experience the value, friendliness, excitement and fun that the Philippines has to offer, positioning the country as a ‘top of mind’ family holiday destination especially for the upcoming Eid Al Adha holidays.”

The popularity of the Philippines has been steadily increasing with the total number of visitors from the Middle East recorded at 68,916 in 2013, an increase of 20% compared to the number recorded in 2012. Visitors from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia lead the region in terms of visitor numbers, with Saudi Arabia providing 38,969 visitors in 2013 and the UAE 15,155. The PDOT is hoping that through such promotional efforts as the ‘Kids Go Free’ campaign and the recent launch of its various social media platforms tailored specifically to the interests of Middle East travellers, that travel demand from the region will continue to grow in 2014. According to the latest arrival statistics available, the trend is continuing with visitors from the UAE up by 7% for the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

“The GCC is an emerging market for us, one which we see significant potential for growth. G.C.C. nationals as well as many other nationalities do not require an entry visa if visiting for 30 days or less and alongside the warm hospitality offered by Filipinos to all visitors we truly believe we have something special to offer all people of all ages and interests,” added Director Verna Covar-Buensuceso, Officer-in-Charge of the Market Development Group, PDOT.

The Philippines, has a plethora of exciting attractions for the whole family, from gorgeous beaches and stunning islands, exciting shopping, fun-filled amusement parks, nature experiences, as well as the endless pampering, rejuvenation and gourmet experiences to be had at one of the many luxury resorts and spas.






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