Amaan Khan, Total Holiday Options; Kira Azucena, Philippines Ambassador to New Zealand; Pura Molintas, Philippine Department of Tourism, Anita Thomas, Total Holiday Options Amaan Khan, Total Holiday Options; Kira Azucena, Philippines Ambassador to New Zealand; Pura Molintas, Philippine Department of Tourism, Anita Thomas, Total Holiday Options

New brochure, branding as Philippines’ Kiwi numbers up

The New Zealand launch of the new Love the Philippines branding and preview of a brochure with expanded choices from Total Holidays Options comes at a time when when the destination is experiencing a surge of interest from this market, attendees at a function in Auckland heard this week.

Purificacion (Pura) Suanding-Molintas, tourism director Australia, New Zealand and Pacific islands with the Philippine Department of Tourism, says the country recorded 40,263 Kiwi visits in the last calendar year, slightly more than in 2019. This year the first quarter is tracking 22% higher than the same period in 2023.

‘New Zealand is one of our opportunity markets, we see strong potential hear from VFR, holiday and business travellers.’

Amaan Khan, CEO of Total Holiday Options, says the company’s 2024 brochure (to be released in about two weeks) will include new family, solo and women’s holidays.

He emphasises that THO offers small group journeys with guaranteed departures as well as bespoke private tours. Khan also highlighted the Diamond Collection, for clients who want ‘the best of the best’ in the destination.’

Khan says the popularity of the Philippines is driven by the huge variety on offer as well as the value for money that it offers.

‘The beaches and marine life, water sports, diving, surfing, adventure, history, culture and cuisine make it a destination for everyone,’ he says. ‘There are tribal cultures that have been there for centuries and also modern urban environments to explore.’

Both Molintas and Khan point out that the Philippines, mainly through gateway Manila, is extremely accessible despite no direct flights currently. Travelling via Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore are all one-stop options with carriers such as Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Jetstar and Cathay Pacific.

Julie Rice, who represents PR in this market, says the carrier flies from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

‘The plan is to come back when the aircraft are available, watch this space.’

Wellington based Ambassador Kira Christianne Azucena says the April visit to the Philippines by PM Christopher Luxon has renewed the healthy level of bilateral relations between the two nations. It was the first visit by a New Zealand head of state for 14 years.

THO’s Khan says the Auckland function attracted key people from the travel trade who were keen to learn more about what the Philippines has to offer.

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