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DOT promotes tourism for all

MANILA -- The Department of Tourism (DOT), in partnership with the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), has pushed for accessible tourism in celebration of United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day this year. In support of this year’s theme, Tourism for All -- Promoting Universal Accessibility,” 10 barrier-free accommodations were recognized at the Accessible Tourism Pilipinas Forum at the Diamond Hotel in Ermita, Manila. The event aims to disseminate information about barrier-free tourism, encourage more tourism entities to be PWD friendly, promote efforts of the DOT on accessible tourism and encourage PWDs (persons with disabilities) to travel. “Everyone has the right to access leisure and tourism services on an equal basis not to mention all the beauty that the world and the Philippines has to offer,” said DOT Assistant Secretary …

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Ayala to open ‘Lio’ Tourism Estate in El Nido in November

There is an upcoming tourist destination in Palawan. Lio, a tourist town in the heart of El Nido in  Palawan, is set to open by end-November. The project, the brainchild of estate developers, AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corporation (AHRC) and Ten Knots Development Corporation (TKDC), is expected to increase the number of visits in El Nido, known for its white-sand beaches, coral reefs and picturesque beauty. “Lio shall be home to hotels, health and wellness facilities, commercial establishments, and residential communities, that easily blends with its natural landscape,” TKDC Chief Operating Officer Javier Hernandez said. Among the many features that will be available in Lio this November are a new airport terminal, a jetty lounge, and Bed & Breakfast hotel. Two more hotels are underway to accommodate more guests in the first quarter of …

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Taiwan relaxes visa rules for nationals of six ASEAN members and India

ROC visa rules for individuals from ASEAN member states (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam) plus India, are being relaxed starting September 1, 2016. The adjustments come following the consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Immigration Agency, and the Tourism Bureau which aims to furthering the interactions with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. At present, nationals of Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand enjoy visa-free entry to Taiwan. Passport holders from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam who hold permanent resident certificates issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Schengen Agreement signatories, the United Kingdom, or the United States, or hold a visa or a resident card from one of these countries either is valid or expired within 10 …

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DOT: Moro-made fabrics to be spotlighted in upcoming Miss U

COTABATO CITY – Inaul fabrics will take the center stage in the upcoming Miss Universe contest as organizers have designated a segment for candidates from different nations to wear dresses made of the textile produced mainly by Moro communities in the Philippines. The Department of Tourism (DOT)-Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao Secretary Ayesha Mangudadatu-Dilangalen said Filipino fashion designer Renee Salud visited the ARMM booth at the recently held Philippine Travel Mart to announce that the inaul fabric as well as the Yakan tribe’s equivalent traditional textile will be used by candidates of the Miss Universe pageant set in Manila on Jan. 30, 2017. Inaul is a hand-woven fabric from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), particularly in the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur where dozens of households continued to …

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Bambike rides within Intramuros

Manila is not hailed as the capital of the country for nothing. Looking beyond the traffic jam and narrow roads, Manila shells a rich heritage imprinted in a number of places. One of Manila's treasures is the walled city of Intramuros. Despite growing number of new destinations to visit in the country, Intramuros continues to attract tourists. Most guests opt to ride horse-drawn carriages, while others settle for pedicabs with the coachman or driver working double as tour guides, telling stories of the past. But, if you're up for a more challenging tour of the walled city, perhaps pedaling Bambikes as you visit centuries-old structures might be your thing. The Tour Tourists travel in groups with a tour guide leading the way. The calorie-burning trip allows guests to take a closer look at Intramuros' history with …

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33 tourists in cable cars set to be rescued after night stuck in Alps

More than 30 tourists, including a 10-year-old child, who were trapped overnight in cable cars thousands of metres up in the French Alps were set to reach the ground early Friday, the operators said. The cable cars "restarted five minutes ago, the last cable (which was blocking the system) was untangled," Mathieu Dechavanne, CEO of the Mont-Blanc Company that manages the system, told AFP just before 8am (0600 GMT). He said the remaining passengers could now be rescued without the use of helicopters. Around 110 people were initially trapped when the cable cars became stuck at 3:40pm (1340 GMT) Thursday at an altitude of 3,800 metres (12,500 feet) in the Mont Blanc region after an unexplained technical incident. Seventy-seven people were evacuated, including 48 who were airlifted out by helicopter and around 30 travelling …

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Plan your next travel adventure

We all look forward to holiday breaks and traveling. Last Sept. 2-4, the Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) gathered businesses in the tourism industry at the SMX Convention for the 27th Travel Mart. We took note of these Travel Mart finds that can bring out the athlete and tickle the adrenaline junky in you -- be it with family, friends or by yourself. Roam the Earth Trek the mountains Pueblo El Salvador in Laguna has a 2-kilometer (km) trail, heading to Cavinti Falls, more popularly known as Pagsanjan Falls. The trip requires passing through a metal ladder with 568 steps and rappelling through two 30-feet vertical ladders. It sounds like one exhausting trip, but visitors are certainly in for a treat once they ride the bamboo raft on their way to the falls. Tourists can also take …

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Thailand determined to wipe out zero-dollar tour network

BANGKOK -- Thai government has ordered a crackdown on zero-dollar tour operators and instructed officials to root out the illegal operation network without fear of any vicious power, local media reported Saturday. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha feels strongly that the zero-dollar tour operations have rendered huge losses to the country and have tainted the image of the Thai tourism industry, according to Thairath. Prayut's words came after tourist police's raid on Thailand's biggest zero-dollar tour network last Friday. They busted five Bangkok companies allegedly operating illegal, poor-quality package tours and related businesses. Tourists who join zero-dollar tour or kickback tour are usually lured to buy cheap tour packages in their own countries, but only to find their expenses become greater once they arrived in Thailand.

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Let’s give Steve Harvey a chance to host Miss U in PH, DOT chief asks

Let’s give Steve Harvey a chance to host the Miss Universe pageant’s coronation night in the Philippines, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo asked. Despite confirming earlier that President Duterte has already expressed hesitations on the likelihood that Harvey – who read the wrong name on the cue card when announcing the winner of last year’s pageant – would host the pageant, Teo said she is still counting on the sense of forgiveness of the President and the Filipino people. “Miss Universe Pageant is four months away. That’s more than enough time to assuage President Duterte about his hesitation on Mr. Harvey’s hosting the event. I’ve known him for many years as our Davao City Mayor with a big heart for well-meaning people like Mr. Harvey, who did not hesitate …

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Powerful 6.8 quake shakes central Myanmar

By Esther Htusan and Min Kyi Thein, Associated Press YANGON, Myanmar — A powerful earthquake shook central Myanmar on Wednesday, damaging nearly a hundred ancient Buddhist pagodas in the former capital of Bagan, a major tourist attraction, officials said. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.8 quake was centered about 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Chauk, an area west of Bagan. It was located fairly far below the Earth's surface at a depth of about 84 kilometers (52 miles), it said. Deep earthquakes generally cause less surface damage. At least 94 brick pagodas in Bagan were damaged, the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs said in a statement. Bagan, also known as Pagan, has more than 2,200 structures including pagodas and temples constructed from the 10th to the 14th centuries. Many are in …

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