Spiritual tourism roadshow rolls out in Manila, Cebu
The Embassy of France to the Philippines and Atout France, France’s Development Tourism Agency, will lead a delegation of French tourism professionals in Metro Manila and Cebu City from April 23 to 26, 2018.
After two years of successful promotion missions in the Philippines, Atout France and its partners KLM, the Lourdes Tourism Board, the Lisieux Tourism Board, the Alençon Tourism Board, as well as French hotel chain SEH United Hoteliers, will return to the Philippines to touch base with the local media and the travel sector specializing in Christian pilgrimages.
Workshops and press meetings will also take place during this mission.
This mission reflects the importance of the tourism industry in France. “France offers a wide variety of touristic experiences. It is this diversity that has made France the top tourist destination in the world, with 88 million visitors last year. This presents high stakes for our economy because the tourism sector represents 8% of France’s GDP and has created over 2 million direct or indirect jobs,” French Ambassador Nicolas Galey explained.
He further stressed that “Asian travelers now play a significant role in the French tourism industry. And indeed, Filipino visitors will have a huge influence on Asian arrivals to France in the next decade.”
“This kind of promotion on pilgrimages seeks to plant fruitful seeds into the market and maintain France’s position as the European destination for Filipino travelers,” Ambassador Galey added.
In an effort to increase the number of Filipino tourists in France, the French Embassy in Manila implemented the delivery of visas in 48 hours less than a year ago.
Recognizing the continuously rising importance of the Philippines as a market in Asia, Atout France Region Director for ASEAN Morad Tayebi explained: “This roadshow is part of a very ambitious action plan for the Filipino market. In the past 6 months, we have organized three familiarization trips to France for about 40 Filipino travel agents to have a meaningful experience of French destinations. The goal for these agents was of course to earn enough knowledge to create innovative packages and so, quench the wanderlust of Filipino travelers craving for unique experiences.”
France welcomed 88 million international visitors in 2017
Number of visitors is currently rising: almost 90,000 Filipino tourists (+20%) visited France last year despite the lack of direct flights;
44% of cultural visits in France has a religious purpose;
France hosts 50,000 religious sites, 10,000 of which are protected as “Historic Buildings”;
France has 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 11 of which are religious:
- Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe (1983)
- Amiens Cathedral (1981)
- Bourges Cathedral (1992)
- Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Rémi and Palace of Tau, Reims (1991)
- Chartres Cathedral (1979)
- Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay (1981)
- Episcopal City of Albi (2010)
- Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge (1995)
- Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (1979)
- Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France (1998)
- Vézelay, Church and Hill (1979)