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Thailand and the Philippines

Travel Forums Asia Thailand and the Philippines

1. Posted by travphils (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y

travphils has indicated that this thread is about Philippines

I don't know why the Philippines remains a tourism backwater relative to neighbouring Asian countries like Thailand. Looking at the numbers, there were over 14 million visitors to Thailand in 2007, compared to only 3.5 million visitors to the Philippines that same year. Tourism directly contributes about 7% of Thailand's GDP, and only about 4% of the Philippines GDP. And yet, I would argue that the Philippines has the same, if not more, favourable attributes to make it a tourist destination compared to Thailand. It has pristine beaches and tropical islands, world class diving and snorkelling, friendly people who can speak English, decent tourism infrastructure (but not yet over developed), and beautiful girls.

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2. Posted by dnicholson (Full Member 146 posts) 6y

Maybe they are advertising or exposing their tourist destinations a little too weak? or maybe tourists are a little bit scared to visit the country cause of all the events that are occurring in the country. I don't know how many but there has been quite a number of foreigners that are showing up in news as kidnapped or robbed. there are also news about the dangers specially during election which is next year. massacre in maguindanao occurred for political reasons...

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 6y

I have been to both Thailand and the P.I and part of the reason is geography. Thailand is basically one long country. Easy to get around via train, bus or cheap flights. The Philippines are 7,000 islands and you have to take a series of ferries or pricey flights to visit other islands. Bad roads & bad buses on many islands makes it more difficult to get around when compared to Thailand. Add in the problems on Mindanao and many visitors to SEA choose Thailand over the Philippines.

4. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 6y

Lets just hope the Philippines doesn't go the same way as Thailand.......I love the deserted beaches and lack of drunken tourists in the Philippines! I love Thailand too but I dont want the Philippines to turn into the new tourist destination of SE Asia. I love the Philippines as it is, even if that does sound a bit selfish of me

5. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1653 posts) 6y

Quoting vegasmike6

I have been to both Thailand and the P.I and part of the reason is geography. Thailand is basically one long country. Easy to get around via train, bus or cheap flights. The Philippines are 7,000 islands and you have to take a series of ferries or pricey flights to visit other islands. Bad roads & bad buses on many islands makes it more difficult to get around when compared to Thailand. Add in the problems on Mindanao and many visitors to SEA choose Thailand over the Philippines.

I have been to the Philippines lots of times as a civilian tourist and when I was in the military; I couldn't agree more with everything above that VM posted. I think Thailand is more "tourist friendly" than the Philippines!

I will add that right from the start Bangkok is more tourist friendly than Manila! I like the system that Suvarnabhumi and the old Don Muang airports have in Bangkok with dedicated bus routes. There is an Airport bus service that is safe and cheap that takes you to most popular areas in the city. Very popular with backpackers and single travelers. Suvarnabhumi even has a separate dedicated bus station with cheap city buses for local travel as well as long distance travel. With the addition of the new overhead rail service connection to the airport their transportation services will even be better!

When tourists/backpackers fly into the old Clark air base (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport) the system of getting tourists out of the airport area and to other destinations is a little dicey and outright dodgy for some newcomers. Many tourists get overcharged for a ride from there to Bangkok. Just getting from the terminal to the front gate at Clark can be a little expensive if you don't know what you are doing.

I do like the addition of the Yellow Taxi service at the Manila airport but this system should have been in place years ago!

As far as hotels go for Manila - I find that if I spend the same equivalent amount of money in Thailand that I get a much better hotel in Bangkok! Or a similar hotel at a cheaper price! Even a hostel for backpackers in Bangkok will be better for the same price range. When taking tours from Manila, using a private tour company, the tours are more expensive than what you get in Thailand even if all the travel is on highways. Thailand has lots of tour choices available too!

Perhaps some additional dedicated advertising might bring more tourists into the P.I. but the city has to make some improvements on how they make tourism more attractive to travelers. I like the Philippines, but I am not sure that if the military didn't initially introduce me to that country when I was a kid would I have gone there on my own?

I have seen improvements in some areas of Manila over the past 12 years. The Ermita area of Manila is cleaner, has better lighting too! (But I did notice that when the bulbs burn out or there is a malfunction they don't perform the maintenance too quickly!) Roxas Blvd. is a great improvement over what it was just 6 or 7 years ago. The new Mall of Asia seems to be be working out okay, every time I was there it was almost always crowded - not sure if the locals were actually spending lots of money to pay for the overhead though!

The Philippines Department of Tourism has to do a better job of making the country more appealing! Never-the-less, like MacArthur, I shall return!

Okeydokey!

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1653 posts) 6y


CORRECTION!!!

"When tourists/backpackers fly into the old Clark air base (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport) the system of getting tourists out of the airport area and to other destinations is a little dicey and outright dodgy for some newcomers. Many tourists get overcharged for a ride from there to Bangkok. Just getting from the terminal to the front gate at Clark can be a little expensive if you don't know what you are doing."

Above paragraph should say "many tourists get overcharged for a ride from there to MANILA - not Bangkok! Boy that really would cost something! Duhhhh! Must of had something else on my mind!

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7. Posted by pau_p1 (Respected Member 214 posts) 6y

yeah I'd agree.. geography would be one great advantage of Thailand.. plus the load of advertisement it got plus the exposure of Thailand in international films.. hehehe...

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