EFFORTS by a Filipino travel agency to boost tourism at home could have reciprocal benefits for the Gulf’s infant tourist industry.
According to Bobby. Laygo, vice-president and operations manager of Monarch Travel Corporation, the Gulf could be a handy stopover point for Filipinos on their way to Europe and America.
Mr Laygo, who this year visited the Gulf to promote tourism to the Philippines, said: “I was particularly impressed by the beaches, hotels and resort facilities of the UAE.”Other representatives from Monarch were equally impressed, and it was obvious to us that there was a potential link-up.”
Monarch has been closely involved with Hilton International and Gulf Air in organising several promotional trips to the Philippines for Gulf businessmen, travel industry representatives and journalists.
Mr Laygo commented: “As well as trying to increase the number of Gulf visitors to the Philippines, I want to introduce the Gulf to Filipino travellers.
“Our first move will be to encourage some sort of airline stopover package.”
The link-up with the Manila Hilton is significant for Monarch because the hotel was the first in the country to commit itself to developing the Philippines tourist scene, and one of the things the hotel did was to introduce colourful festivals, bringing the traditional arts and customs of the country and islands to the capital city. Now the festivals are a regular feature of the hotel’s entertainment.
Hotel manager Richard Chapman is keen to see the number of tourists from the Gulf increasing steadily over the next year.
Monarch’s Bobby Laygo added: “Several years ago the number of Gulf visitors could be counted on one hand. But the numbers are growing steadily and we are looking forward optimistically to a continued growth.
“We have links with experienced tour operators in the Gulf and we hope it will be of mutual benefit.”
Highlight of the two-day package is a talk on Mrs Thatchers’s early life while, almost equally tedious, is a recommended car tour to nearby Sleaford, Newark, Worksop and Scunthorpe. Other features of this unusual holiday include “sparse accommodation, dreary food and black-and-white television sets in each room.”
The price is £20 for the first day, including meals, £15 for the second day, and if guests stay a third night – Mr and Mrs Young will pay them £1.
From festivals to rambles
ANYONE OLD ENOUGH to read a travel brochure knows about the pomp and pageantry that have traditionally made Britain a tourist landmark. Here, though, is a guide to some of the more off-beat attractions taking place in Britain this summer.
Music at Cheltenham: Cheltenham’s 37th International Festival of Music (July 5 – 19) continues its tradition of promoting contemporary British music. Cheltenham, a Regency spa 160km west of London, is an excellent centre for touring the Cotswolds and is within easy driving distance of Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford. Royal Welsh Show: The major show for Wales’ farming community will be held at Builth Wells in the heart of the country from July 20-23. Farm produce and machinery will be on display and other entertainments include sheepdog trials, show jumping, military bands and veteran cars.
Chinese junk in Exeter: A Chinese junk has travelled up Devon’s Exeter Canal to join the exhibits at the Maritime Museum.
The museum, in the cathedral city of Exeter, has the world’s biggest collection of working boats, with almost 100 craft displayed afloat, ashore and under cover. It is open daily 10-5pm, June 10 to September 6. Celebrating 100 years: A traditional London hotel, once the home of actress and society beauty Lillie Langtry, is offering luxury centenary weekends to celebrate its 100 years as a hotel.
Weekends at the 76-bedroom Cadogan Hotel, in London’s fashionable Belgravia, cost £92, including theatre tickets. Walk in Poldark country: Television viewers who have seen BBC’s Poldark series will be familiar with the rugged coastline of Cornwall, where these stories, written by Winston Graham, were set and filmed.
Backpack Man organises an 11-day trek around 160km of this spectacular coast. Price of £450 includes collection from Heathrow, rail transport to the South-West of England, accommodation, meals, kit transport between stops, and an experienced guide.
Write to Backpack Man, 11 Church Street, Moulton, Northampton. Barnum in London: The smash-hit Broadway musical Barnum, starring Michael Crawford, opens at the London Palladium on June 11. Tickets from £2.50 to£8.