I Love Israel: Israel attracted 2.675 million tourist entries generating 13.5 billion shekels in tourism revenue for 2022

The tourism numbers for the State of Israel covering the calendar year of 2022 have been finalized. Israel’s Ministry of Tourism confirmed that the state attracted a total of 2.675 million tourist entries which generated tourism revenue worth 13.5 billion shekels (US$3.8 billion). The Jerusalem Post confirmed the tourist entries figure as well. Take note that Israel opened its borders to international travelers in March 2022 and very clearly their tourism industry is bouncing back strongly which is good for their economy. The above reported figures are the best since 2019 (the record year of tourism in Israel).

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from official report of the Ministry of Tourism. Some parts in boldface…

In 2022, 2.675 million tourist entries were recorded (as opposed to only 397,000 in 2021 and 831,000 in 2020). The skies in Israel were opened officially to incoming tourism in March 2022 and only three months later, in May, without any restrictions. Incoming tourism to Israel in 2022 is about 41% lower than 2019, a record year for incoming tourism. Revenue from incoming tourism stands at about NIS 13.5 billion (not including cost of flights) as opposed to about NIS 23 billion in 2019.

The Ministry of Tourism notes that there are a number of factors that have affected tourist entries in this recovery year: tourists plan their trips far in advance, and Israel opened for incoming tourism later than similar destinations in the area and Europe. Therefore, Israel’s recovery rate from the crisis is slightly lower than the global average of about 36% decrease in the volume of incoming tourism relative to 2019.

However, a renewed growth in tourism can be seen. In December 2022, 266,200 tourist entries were recorded (compared with 20,500 in December 2021 and 358,300 in December 2019)  – a decrease of about 25% (only) in relation to December 2019.

Very clearly, Israel continues to rise with its tourism industry as their nation keeps on persevering with recovering from the depression that came with the COVID-19 crisis a few years back. Considering what was achieved in 2022 in terms of attracting visitors from overseas, further growth this year should not be surprising. There are many millions of people around the world who are eager to visit Israel and spend time at the many holy sites in relation to their faith. For insight about the recovery and growth of tourism in Israel, watch the videos below…

Be thankful to God that the State of Israel is recovering strongly from the COVID-19 crisis. Thank Him for the big rebound of tourism Israel is having right now. Be thankful to Him as many millions of people around the world who believe and follow Lord Jesus will have opportunities to visit the Holy Land to deepen their faith in Him even more.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful, you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel and love the Jewish people no matter what. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel, the land that God designated to the Jewish people (read Genesis 35:10-12)!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Philippines attracted 2.65 million international arrivals and over P200 billion in tourism revenues in 2022

With the year 2022 officially over, the Department of Tourism (DOT) officially confirmed that the Philippines attracted 2.65 million tourist arrivals (exceeding the target of 1.7 million) and over P200 billion in tourism revenues were generated for the year, according to a news article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The holidays delivered further gains for the Philippine tourism industry as it breached its 1.7-million target with 2.65 million international arrivals as of the end of 2022.

The arrivals translated to PHP208.96 billion or USD3.68 billion in tourism revenues, a whopping 2,465.75-percent increase from 2021, according to a news release on Monday.

Based on the monitoring of the Department of Tourism (DOT) from the time the country reopened its borders to all travelers in February until Dec. 31, 2022 arrivals peaked in December as more Filipinos and tourists alike opted to spend the Christmas and New Year vacations in the Philippines.

Of the total 2.65 million international arrivals last year, 628,445 were returning Filipinos while the bulk of 2.02 million tourists were from top markets United States (505,089), South Korea (428,014), Australia (137,974), Canada (121,413), the United Kingdom (101,034), Japan (99,557), Singapore (53,448), India (51,542), Malaysia (46,805) and China (39,627).

The year just ended likewise generated an estimated 5.23 million tourism-related jobs, 11,989 DOT-accredited tourism enterprises as of Dec. 29, 2022 and 25,770 tourism stakeholders who were trained.

DOT Secretary Christina Frasco was elated over the achievements of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., just six months into office.

She said the tourism sector’s growth clearly showed the hard work of the entire industry in order to recover from the unprecedented crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Moments of great difficulty are also moments of great opportunity. In the past, we have overcome a global pandemic and survived various calamities. The Philippine tourism industry has managed to exceed expectations and our tourism partners and frontliners continue to offer the best of Filipino grace and hospitality to the world,” Frasco said in a statement.

“We welcome 2023 with gratitude and excitement for Philippine tourism to bounce back stronger than ever. We shall welcome with warmth and that distinct Filipino smile visitors from all over the world as they visit our award-winning beaches, experience the richness of our culture, and enjoy our world-renowned Filipino brand of service excellence,” she added.

Frasco is hopeful that the DOT will surpass its targets anew in 2023.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development about the Philippines tourism? If you are managing a business, did your business benefit somehow from the arrival of foreign tourists and/or Filipinos who arrived from overseas? Do you think the DOT will be able to achieve its targets for 2023?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Philippines counted 2.6 million tourist arrivals in 2022

Since it opened its borders for travelers from abroad in early 2022, the Philippines registered a total of 2.6 million tourist arrivals for the year, according to a GMA Network news report quoting the Department of Tourism (DOT). Take note that the DOT has higher targets for attracting foreign tourists this new year.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA news report. Some parts in boldface…

A total of 2.6 million tourists arrived in the Philippines in 2022, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

This is due to the opening of borders to all international travelers in February, the DOT added, according to a report on GMA Integrated News’ Unang Balita on Monday.

Some P173 billion tourism revenue was recorded in 2022, the department said.

The DOT said more than 628,000 arrivals are returning Filipinos.

The top arriving international tourists were from the US, South Korea, Australia, and United Kingdom.

Very clearly, the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to happen in different ways around the world. For the Philippines itself, the arrivals and presence of foreign tourists as well as Filipinos based overseas are crucial for the socio-economic development of the whole nation. As such, we Filipinos can be more supportive towards the DOT and other national stakeholders to make tourism – both foreign and local – thrive again with the nation in mind.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe the DOT can achieve its targets for 2023? Do you think the local government units (LGUs) should become more pro-active on emphasizing local tourism? What is the most notable local tourist site in your city right now? Did you notice your favorite local coffee shop or restaurant having more foreigners as customers lately?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

Philippines aiming to attract 4.8 million foreign visitors and generate $5.8 billion tourism revenue in 2023

With the economic recovery from COVID-19 still continuing and the year coming to an end, the Department of Tourism (DOT) revealed its targets for foreign visitors and tourism revenue in 2023, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). For the newcomers reading this, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., declared already that it is time for the to return to pre-pandemic life and having a strong tourism sector is a crucial part of the post-pandemic strategy. It has also been several months since the Philippines opened its borders to

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippines eyes to double its tourism revenues and reach at least 4.8 million in foreign visitor arrivals in 2023.

Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco Friday revealed the projections as she presented the efforts of the agency to expedite tourism’s recovery.

Frasco said DOT seeks to attract 4.8 million visitors and generate at least USD5.8 billion in revenue.

Latest data showed that the Philippines has already breached its 1.7 million arrivals target for 2022, hitting over 2.46 million tourists and PHP149 billion in receipts.

With the administration’s focus on tourism and the various measures implemented to ease travel, Frasco is optimistic Manila could even surpass the pre-pandemic tourism figures before 2025.

DOT’s initial forecast indicated that Manila will not reach more than 8 million tourists until after 2025, a projection Frasco described as “alarming”.

[T]o me, that was an alarming projection in a sense that 2025 is so far off for us to obtain our pre-pandemic levels until after 2025 and that really forced us to take an inward look as to how we can expedite the recovery,” she told reporters.

“Having set out policies under the Marcos administration, precisely to serve the more aggressive approach towards tourism recovery, we’re seeing now that we have been able to breach the previous projection as well as the high projection (for this year),” she added.

Aside from constructing rest areas and improving connectivity for inbound tourists, Frasco presented more initiatives DOT sets to undertake in the next few months.

These include showcasing the country as a top cruise destination by 2023, coordinating with the relevant office to ease visa processing, and strengthening the promotion of Mindanao — especially for halal tourism.

Frasco also said DOT and the Department of National Defense are soon to sign a Memorandum of Agreement to obtain necessary data to determine the “most ideal areas to begin the process of reopening Mindanao.”

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development about the Philippines and its tourism plans for 2023? Do you think it is doable for the Philippines to attract 4.8 million foreign visitors by the end of 2023? What do you think the DOT should do when it comes to emphasizing tourism through conventions and special events? Do you think the DOT is doing enough with getting involved with sports tourism, medical tourism, food tourism, and the like?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

What to watch on YouTube right now – Part 5

Have you been searching for something fun or interesting to watch on YouTube? Do you feel bored right now and you crave for something to see on the world’s most popular online video destination?

I recommend you watch the following videos below…

#1 Elizabeth Holmes’ scandal and punishment – In case you missed the news, the heavily hyped Silicon Valley personality Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to eleven years in prison as a result of the big fraud at her company Theranos. A lot of crookedness and lying happened behind the scenes at Theranos as the years passed by and America’s media highlighted Holmes (who is an idolater of the late Steve Jobs) as an icon. Holmes’ invention of testing blood using only a tiny drop never really worked and Theranos resorted to deception using conventional blood testing machines. To fully understand the background details, what Theranos was and how tremendous the fraud was, watch the videos below. The fourth video below is about the sentencing.

#2 Starfield updates – Starfield is an ambitious science fiction role-playing game being made by Bethesda exclusively for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Windows PC for release sometime in 2023. You can read my preview about it by clicking here. The video game was originally scheduled for a November 2022 release but a delay into 2023 was made. This only added further to the anticipation of the game (note: it will also debut on Xbox Game Pass for subscribers to enjoy). To learn more about Starfield, watch the videos below. The third video at the bottom has the latest updates.

#3 Worship video of God of the Breakthrough There is another original worship song by New Life Music that I want to share with you all – God of the Breakthrough. Composed by Chynna Cuna, Dem Mokamad, Jed Patricio, Gianna Bautista and Joed Avila, the song emphasizes that the Lord is our Creator, our Provider (Jehovah Jireh), our Ultimate Love, our Miracle Worker, our Guiding light, our Protector, our Redeemer, our Healer and our Ultimate and All-Powerful Authority! The Lord loves the faithful and His care, blessings and guidance still continue! God of the Breakthrough’s lyrics are indeed holy and you can find more by reading my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) article about it. Posted below is the official worship video.

#4 Informative videos about traveling to Israel – If you are planning to visit Israel, you need to do research for your personal safety, to get the best value out of your money, how to travel efficiently, what to do (and what to avoid doing) and more. Israel is where the Holy Land is and Jerusalem is its eternal capital. In recent times, visitors from around the world have traveled to Israel in high numbers. There is no denying that Israel is the land that God designated for the Jewish people (refer to Genesis 12:1-3 and Genesis 35:10-12 in the Holy Bible). Posted below are videos from TravelingIsrael.com and from Ms. Emily (note: Tagalog language).

#5 Looking back at Steven Spielberg’s Jaws – If you are tired of modern day movies or if you have been disappointed with Steven Spielberg’s movies over the past decade, then going back to one of the director’s most acclaimed works in cinema would be a refreshing experience. The classic movie directed by Spielberg I’m talking about is none other than Jaws (1975). Posted below for your enjoyment are a variety of reaction videos plus a trivia-oriented video by Minty Comedic Arts.

#6 Ashleigh Burton crying – Some of you who have seen enough movie reaction videos by YouTube Asheigh Burton should have realized by now that she is a jolly person. Having seen many of her videos myself, there were lots of times when she laughs even though she was reacting to movies that were not comedies at all. There are certain movie reactions videos of hers in which she got to cry as those respective films touched her deeply. Take note that she does not cry all the time but in key scenes. Watch the reaction videos of hers below.

#7 Worship video of Encounter Song The Australia-based church Planetshakers continues to keep leading people to the Lord through their worship services, worship events and, of course, their worship music. Among the many, many original worship songs that I want to share with you today is the Encounter Song (note: read my feature of it by clicking here). The song is indeed holy and it definitely should be heard by Christians who are devoted to the Lord, and even to the many lost souls and unsaved souls around the world. Very clearly, Planetshakers was anointed by the Lord to compose it. Posted below is the official worship video of the Encounter Song.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Reinvigorating tourism in the Philippines

In what is a clear move to reinvigorate tourism all over the Philippines in line with recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. announced a series of moves to achieve their goals and this includes the new project titled “Philippine Experience”, according to two separate news articles (click here and here) published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news article about President Marcos’ speech. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday underscored the need for tourism industry players and stakeholders to come up with “fresh” and “new” ideas to entice more tourists to travel to the Philippines and revive what he described as one of the “key players” in the nation’s progress.

Marcos made this remark as he lauded the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) ongoing efforts to consult with regional tourism offices about ways to support the tourism industry’s recovery dubbed as “listening tours.”

“Following the pandemic, we need fresh and innovative ideas to bring back the imagination and the confidence of our people—from here and abroad—so they will be encouraged to explore the best destinations that the country can offer,” he said in his speech during the Philippine Tourism Industry Convergence Reception (PTICR) at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

He described the DOT’s listening tours as an “imaginative tool” that helps the government see the perspective of those who are on the ground and understand their experiences and situations.

“The avenues you have opened for all regions will be instrumental not only in formulating the best policies, but also in determining better practices and the best projects for the industry,” he added.

Marcos said the government will remain committed to ensuring that the inputs acquired from the DOT’s listening tours will be “optimized” for the benefit of the tourism sector.

“We want one of the key players in our nation’s progress to be buzzing once again with life again—stronger than ever—so that they will be able to keep up with these fast moving times,” he added.

He also praised DOT Secretary Christina Frasco for keeping his administration on their toes by having a clear vision of her plans for the tourism sector.

“She keeps us on our toes. She has always kept a very very clear idea in her mind of what we are trying to achieve. She has brought passion and energy that certainly that we’re going to need. But it is passion and energy that gives us confidence that we will succeed,” Marcos said.

He said Frasco’s strategy of empowering local government units (LGUs) was a no-brainer given her experience as a former mayor of Liloan municipality in Cebu.

As part of efforts to boost the tourism sector, Marcos reiterated the importance of further developing existing travel destinations and developing new ones.

He also underscored the need to ensure that these destinations are accessible through improved tourism infrastructure.

Marcos said the PTICR provides the perfect opportunity to pursue initiatives for greater tourism connectivity and convenience.

“It is my hope that this reception will foster meaningful discourse and yield concrete plans that we can immediately put into action,” he said.

Greatest asset

Meanwhile, Marcos expressed confidence in using the country’s “greatest asset” to revive the tourism sector to what it was prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“…The greatest asset that we have in the PH are the 107 million Filipinos who are a young, well-trained workforce who are as kind of people, who are as hospitable of people, as gracious of people as you will find anywhere in the world,” he said.

He said he believed that Filipinos will be crucial in “reintroducing” the Philippines to the world.

“I am confident because I have said this many many times that there is no warmer, more poignant sight than the smile of a Filipino and that is something that we can introduce to the world,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco emphasized the “Philippine Experience” during the same event President Marcos attended. Posted below is an excerpt with some parts in boldface…

The program called the Philippine Experience would involve the development of caravans featuring culture, heritage, and arts unique to each region.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said it would draw inspiration from Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, a Cebuano initiative that sought to promote Cebu towns and cities’ products and give tourists a chance to discover underrated destinations.

Giving industry stakeholders a glimpse of the program, Tourism directors from the Cordilleras down to Mindanao showcased the colors, festivals and “living traditions” that could be experienced in their regions.

“Our goal is to equalize opportunities across the regions and support the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage and artistic resources,” Frasco said during the Philippine Tourism Industry Convergence Reception at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday.

“Through these experiential travel modules, we hope to introduce the very essence of our nation more deeply to our tourists and instill a sense of pride and patriotism among the Filipino people through greater appreciation of our country’s inheritance and legacy,” she added.

The Philippine Experience is part of the list of programs that DOT is implementing in the coming months to help the sector recover from the effects of the pandemic and position the Philippines as a primary tourism destination in Asia.

As seen in the above content from two of PNA’s news articles, the national government just made clear its focus on reinvigorating Philippine tourism which has the potential to create new job opportunities, open up channels between tourism business players and other businesses, and generate the much-needed economic activities around the nation. Having worked and lived in Cebu province myself, I am not surprised that the DOT took inspiration from the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo tourism program which was very active during my Cebu years.

Apart from the collective efforts of the tourism business players, the event organizers, the national government and other local government units, we Filipinos can also take part in promoting the nation as a tourist destination that can be enjoyed. I personally am fond of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone as a vacation destination and to those of you planning to go there, make sure you visit Gourmet Garage Subic and Xtremely Xpresso Café for your meals. Subic Bay also has lots of nice hotels to stay in as well as shopping places. If you are looking for a sports event to join in at Subic Bay, then you should register online for the 2023 National Age Group Triathlon event there set for January 2023.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you feel encouraged to travel around the country and enjoy the tourist destinations?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Over 500,000 foreign tourists counted since the borders were reopened

If you are looking for encouraging news about our country and its struggle to rise up from the COVID-19 crisis, be aware that more than half a million foreign visitors have been counted since the Philippines reopened its borders months ago, according to a recent news report by BusinessWorld.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the BusinessWorld article. Some parts in boldface…

FOREIGN VISITORS have totaled 517,516 as of May 25, since the reopening of borders with minimal quarantine requirements in February, according to the Department of Tourism (DoT).

The DoT said in a statement that the US was the top source of arrivals between Feb. 10 and May 25 with 104,589, followed by South Korea with 28,474 arrivals, and Canada 24,337.

Australian nationals, British, and Japanese were next on the list with 23,286; 20,846; and 13,373 respectively,” the DoT said. 

“Other foreign visitors during the early months of the year include Vietnamese, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Italians, Irish and French,” it added.

On Feb. 10, the Philippines started accepting nationals that do not require visas to enter the country. Since April 1, borders have been opened to all nationals

“The DoT is looking forward to an uptick in tourist arrivals in the coming weeks following the further easing of entry requirements,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Starting May 30, the DoT said fully vaccinated and boostered inbound foreign visitors will no longer be required to have a pre-departure test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The looser entry rules are authorized by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 168.

However, the DoT said arriving passengers are still encouraged to obtain travel insurance. All types of vaccination certificates, regardless of country of origin, will also be accepted.

“Based on the resolution, the visitor must be at least 18 years old and must have received the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and at least one booster shot,” the DoT said.

For the newcomers reading this, more tourists from overseas means better opportunities for local businesses to make more money and recover whatever losses they had as a result of lockdowns and quarantine-related business restrictions. Tourism-related businesses like hotels, resorts and connected transportation and food-and-beverage services badly need the spending of foreign visitors.

In relation to this tourism industry development, be aware that there were foreign participants in the recent Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) which was a big sports even that attracted hundreds of participants on May 1 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Speaking of the said location, I personally saw lots of hotels, restaurants (note: read my feature articles about Gourmet Garage Subic and Xtremely Xpresso), stores and other leisure facilities that operated as if the country is back in the pre-pandemic days. The more foreign tourists coming in plus the more local tourists engage in holidays, special events and travel in the country, the better it will be for local businesses to recover (plus pay their fees, taxes and keeping their hard-working employees longer) and the nation as a whole. I believe that the Philippines will continue to rise socially and economically from the pandemic.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about this tourism-related development? Do you believe the Philippines will be able to attract 2 million foreign tourists by the end of 2022? Do you run a business that catered to foreign tourists?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Over 730,000 local and foreign tourists welcomed in Hanoi in connection to the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)

Whenever a country hosts a major event that emphasizes international sports competition which involve the participation of athletes from many nations who joined in, the tourism aspect of it arguably becomes one metric of the event’s impact in relation to the host country’s tourism appeal. Case in point, the concluded 31st Southeast Asian Games (AKA the 31st SEA GamesSEA Games 31 and Hanoi 2021) hosted by Vietnam’s capital city Hanoi proved to be a magnet of both local and foreign tourists who were attracted to the games. Over 730,000 local and foreign tourists were counted specifically in Hanoi in connection to the SEA Games hosting, according to a report by VietnamPlus.vn.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from VietnamPlus.vn report. Some parts in boldface…

Hanoi welcomed 700,000 domestic tourists and 31,448 foreigners who visited or participated in events of the recently concluded SEA Games 31, the municipal Department of Tourism announced on May 24.

As of May 23, 18 hotels in Hanoi had accommodated more than 5,600 Vietnamese and foreign delegates, referees, athletes and reporters. In addition, other accommodation facilities stood ready to welcome tourists travelling to Hanoi during the Games.

The Department of Tourism asked relevant agencies to roll out new tourism products at the capital city’s famous attractions such as the Hoan Kiem Lake pedestrian zone, Thang Long Imperial Citadel and Bat Trang pottery village.

Images of Hanoi and preparations for SEA Games 31 were promoted on the department’s portal and websites on Hanoi tourism as well as TV channels and social media.

Director of the department Dang Huong Giang said it has organised numerous events and festivals for SEA Games 31, namely Hanoi gift festival and Son Tay – Xu Doai Tourism Year.

She affirmed that the capital’s tourism sector has fulfilled assigned tasks for hosting the regional sporting event, which contributed to attracting foreign tourists and investors to Vietnam and Hanoi in particular.

Vietnam, the host city and other localities worked hard in preparing for the SEA Games complete with implementing health protocols. It should be noted that foreign delegations to the SEA Games were not required to make COVID-19 health declarations upon arrival. It is encouraging to learn about the 700,000 local tourists and 31,448 foreign visitors welcomed in Hanoi and the only thing lacking from the local authorities are the economic estimates in the form of revenues and tourist-related spending that happened before and during the SEA Games. For the newcomers reading this, Vietnam reopened its borders to foreigners months ago and the nation recently recovered for very high counts of COVID-19 infections. In the weeks leading to the start of the 31st SEA Games, the daily count of new COVID-19 infections went way down. For more on the games and the tourism aspect of it, watch the videos below…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about Vietnam’s hosting of the SEA Games? Are you interested to visit Vietnam someday? Would the city of Hanoi be your primary of place for vacation in Vietnam? Do you think that Vietnam will become a major tourist attraction internationally as COVID-19 becomes less problematic in the months ahead? Are you looking forward to the SEA Games next year in Cambodia?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

My return to Xtremely Xpresso Café in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone

During my most recent visit at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, I took the opportunity to revisit key places around as it has been more than two years since my previous visit. On the afternoon of April 30 (just a day before the 2022 Subic Bay International Triathlon happened), I took time out to revisit Xtremely Xpresso Café (social media here, here and here) located at Dewey Street corner Sta. Rita Road.

Xtremely Xpresso Café is more than just a place to enjoy good coffee. It is also a restaurant that sells to its customers a good variety of tasty meals from pizza to pasta, rice meals and others. The very first time I visited the food joint was in the early 2000s. Through the years I had coffee there during my solo visits and there were also times that I was with the family enjoying pizza and their meals. Xtremely Xpresso’s pizzas were always delicious and filling to enjoy with friends or family.

Xtremely Xpresso Subic Bay Freeport branch on the day I returned.

Going back to my April 30 afternoon visit, I easily recognized Xtremely Xpresso upon arrival. What I found interesting was that the place was bustling with customers both indoors (where it is air conditioned) and outdoors as if life was back to normal (note: Alert Level 1 status was in effect on the Subic Bay Freeport Zone back then). I saw some groups of people, couples and individual customers enjoying their meals and drinks on the outdoor area (note: lots of seats and tables with shade) and the simmering heat of the day did not seem to bother them at all.

Then I entered and saw the ever familiar-looking interior. Almost all the seats and tables were filled up by customers who mostly came in groups or pairs. Everywhere I looked, I saw people really enjoying their food and drinks, and having quality time together. As such, I decided to order a drink and dessert and have the waiter serve them to me at a seat outdoors.

I took sat at a place where there was enough shade to protect me from the sun. While the heat was obvious, there were moments I felt some relief in the form of coolness from the occasional wind coming from the sea water several meters away. After about ten minutes waiting, the waiter served to me the cheesecake slice and the Shockwave Xtreme Frappe’ that I ordered.

The cheesecake I ordered at Xtremely Xpresso.
A close look at a portion of the cheesecake.

As I was seated outdoors, I did not want to let the sun and the summer heat ruin the cheesecake so I started consuming it portion by portion. Each bite of it was smooth and in terms of taste, it had a mild sweetness to it. More notably, it tasted like any cheesecake. In terms of content, it is thick and long enough for me. As such, Xtremely Xpresso’s cheesecake slice is good enough.

Xtremely Xpresso’s Shockwave frappe was cold coffee with some chocolate to its taste with a creamy aesthetic. In my experience sipping it moderately, the Shockwave had a moderate sweetness to it and I felt a creamy coffee and chocolate taste. It was during the remaining small amount I sipped when I suddenly felt a sweetened taste. Then the drink ran out. Xtremely Xpresso’s Shockwave is a frappe that is completely different from what other coffee shops here in the Philippines offered. I can say it is a good drink to have at Xtremely Xpresso.

The Shockwave frappe was mildly sweet and had a coffee and chocolate taste.

So my recent visit at Xtremely Xpresso in Subic Bay was good one. I would not hesitate to return there and next time, I would definitely order a meal, a different drink and something else. In my previous dining experiences there with my family, I enjoyed the taste of their Big Ben pizza, the Seafood Pesto pizza, the Creamy Cheese Penne and their Spinach Omelette. All of those and a lot more are still being offered to customers.

While securing an indoor seat and table is challenging, be assured that there are a lot more tables and seats outside. In fact, having breakfast and coffee outdoors is a fresh and comfortable experience as the sun is not too intense in the morning.

For those of you reading this, if you are planning to visit Subic Bay and you want good food and drinks to enjoy, I encourage you to visit Xtremely Xpresso.

Let me end this piece with the following holy scripture…

So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (AMPC)

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Electric transport system inside the SBMA could happen

If initial talks progress a lot, then electric vehicles as well as charging stations could be established at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in the future as the Manila Bulletin recently reported that the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and a private entity formally started discussing a key proposal that emphasized renewable energy.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), holding true to its commitment to promote the use of renewable energy, has welcomed its partner Indigo Distribution Corporation in putting into the boardroom a proposal to set up an Electric Transport System inside SBMA as part of a new initiative for renewable energy projects inside the facility.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Rolen C. Paulino and Indigo Distribution Corporation General Manager Gerard S. Galang have started serious discussion on a proposal that also includes setting up solar and electric charging stations inside SBMA to support and promote electric vehicle adoption for private and public transportation.

This is also in line with the ’Renewable Energy Act of 2008′ that affirms the government’s commitment to accelerate the utilization of renewable energy (RE) resources in the country. This is to effectively reduce harmful emissions and achieve economic development while protecting health and environment.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have started to gain popularity, globally, as many countries decide to pursue the use of alternative technologies that reduce harmful emissions, climate-related effects and reliance on the use of fossil fuels.

Electric vehicles are cars and other vehicles with motors that source power from electricity and not liquid or liquefied fuels.

EVs count among its technological benefits: few moving parts, charging done overnight when electricity demand is low and cheaper fuel cost, running cost and maintenance cost.

The above report ended stating that the SBMA believes that the initiative would bring down the cost of electricity by harnessing the free energy from the sun.

As I mentioned before, Subic Bay is a great place to visit for holidays, shopping, organizing special events, doing business and discovering new things. I was there when the Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) happened on May 1 (for references, click here and here) and I saw SBMA chairman Paulino who took part during the awarding ceremony of the Elite Men category. I also managed to revisit my favorite restaurant there and had a great lunch. To learn about SBMA moving forward with renewable energy and potentially use electric vehicles (e-vehicles) for both public and private transportation is indeed interesting. It would be nice to see electric vehicles in the form of buses, jeepneys and vans be established for commuters to ride and move around the freeport. Think about the tourists, the shoppers and employees who need to move to their respective destinations around the freeport but don’t have their own private vehicles.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you excited to see the SBMA establish an electric transport system in the near future?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/