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TOURISM

Philippines

As a country of islands and sea, the Philippine archipelago has a wealth of tourist attractions that are just as diverse as the people that live in it. Pristine beaches, lush forests, cosmopolitan cities, among others, never fail to capture the heart of any foreign traveller.

No wonder that the Philippine tourism sector is facing bright prospects as tourist arrivals registered significant growth in recent years, driven by a surge of tourists from Cina, Korea, and the United States. Preliminary data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) show that tourist arrivals reached 2.11 million for the first 10 months of 2005, surpassing the 2.6 million-target for the whole year.

China remains the country's fastest-growing market, as it recorded a massive growth of 188.9% jump to 10,644 visitors in 2004. For the following year, however, the DOT identified Korea, the US, and japan as the country's top tourism markets. The DOT has subsequently launched market-specific tourism campaigns to attract visitors from these countries.

Despite political unrest in the country, the tourism sector recorded a remarkable upturn which can be attributed to the government's extensive tourism campiagns, as well as the influx of travellers displaced by the naturaal calamities that hit is neighbouring countries. Countries hit by the 2004 tsunami lost potential visitors to countries like the Philippines.

MOST POPULAR SPOTS
The Western Visayas region remains the country's premier tourism capital because of its famous white sand beaches and numerous diving destinations. A total of 167 mostly white-sand islands and islets surround the mainland. Among the tourists' favorites are Mactan, Moalboal, Malapascua, and Bantayan Island for thier rich diving experience they offer, as well as for their rich diving experience they offer, as well astheir picturesques beaches. Cebu's Olango Island, which hosts the largest number of migratory birds in the country, and the whale and dolphin sanctuaries of Bais, Negros Oriental has also made the region an ecological tourism hotspot.


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India

By itself, India is of late attracting quite a number of tourists; the country has been identified by travel guidebooks Lonely Planet and Frommers as among the trendliest destinations of 2006.

The newfound popularity of yoga, the increasing awareness of ayurveda (traditional Indian healing science), and the country's rich historyb have kept tourists interested in coming to the country. Indian industry website www.expresshospitality.com cites a 2003 Spa Consumer Survey that found 93% of respondents looked for a spa resort or a day when travelling, and 5% of the respondents identified India as a potential spa holiday destination.

INCREDIBLE CAMPAIGN
The multi-million dollar "incredible India" campaign no doubt helped boost Indian tourism. Launched in 2002, the campaign is credited for the increase in the number of tourists coming in India. Prior to the "Incredible India" campaign, The Tourism Ministry depended on individual campigns of its officers posted at various overseas offices whose output levels largely influenced the tourist inflow from that country. "Incredible India" is the first time Indian tourism mounted a concerted, focused, aand centralised effort to increase tourist inflow.

Before the campaign, India was perceived to have aa very limited tourism product that included the Golden Triangle, Goa, kerala, and Himalayas etc. "Incredible India" focused on the country's diversity, it scolors, food, flavours, people, and various cultures. It also highlighted both the historical and modern India.

Government figures report a 25% increaase in tourist arrivals in 2004, and a 36% increase in forex earnings from the sector year-on-year. these are the highest arrival figures the country has ever experienced. Overall, the tourism sector, which attracted over three million visitors in 2004, contributed US$ 4.8 billion to the econpomy in 2005.

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