Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why the Philippines will not become a major tourist destination

The simple answer is because only the most determined tourist manage to organize their trip.

I am Filipino. I even have a travel blog. So theoretically, I should know how things are done. Do you think I am able to book flights and resorts? The answer is "NO"! Out of the 20 resorts I emailed across the the Philippines, only about 5 replied to my queries. I think it is even because they were German resort owners. After a few weeks, I finally found a resort that answered my inquiry. I reserved a room for the days I want. I just need to book a flight, the hard part is done you might say. Oh, well, you know I have been trying to book a flight to Puerto Princessa for a few days now and my credit card always gets declined for no apparent reason. I am going out of my mind.

Most of the time, people just want to go for a relaxing vacation and not an expedition. Going to the Philippines sometimes feels like going on a journey to Mars. I have spent hours and hours on the internet, trying to find information. It shouldn't be this hard.

Well, and then there are resorts whose rates are truly galactic in size. Anyway, they also don't reply to inquiries. I don't know who can afford to go to those places anyway. Their rates are hundreds of dollars per person. Here in Europe even with 4-5 star hotels, the rates are per room! I think those resorts are delusional, specially now with the financial crisis.

I am quite depressed because I have decided to give up to go somewhere special this time. I'm tired of spending my nights on the internet trying to book a simple flight.

List of resorts who replied to my inquiries promptly:
Coconut Garden Resort - Cacnipa Island Palawan- by phone
Las Cabanas Beach Resort - El nido, Palawan
Siargao Inn - Siagao Island, Surigao
Golden Monkey Cottages - El Nido, Palawan


Unknown said...

haha so you now have a share of frustrations over the philippines. i am not mocking you. i am mocking the whole country in general. wait till you arrive here.

goodluck cathy.

maligayang pasko!

Ken said...

Sinabi mo iyon. I have been going home for the past 4 years and have the same frustration like yours. BUT in the last two years, my frustration was a little bit alleviated when I found a company that could arrange stuff for you without any headaches - they deliver (so far). It's the Filipino Travel Center ( - I am not in anyway connected with them but I am a satisfied customer. They really deliver. Contact there is Didith Taruc.

dodong flores 도동 플로오리스 said...

The resorts in your list is quite familiar to me. I used to sell their packages during my stint in a travel agency.
I agree with what you've written here. Booking for a vacation here in our country is never like a breeze. When I worked in the travel agency, I sometimes caught in the middle of a problem between the tour operator and the customer - each for its own shortcoming and limitations, including us travel agency.
I wonder if the Philippines is really that poor in tourism services as compared to other country...