Mabuhay! Don't run for your dictionary. It's the traditional Filipino greeting whose simple translation might be To Life! But the way it is used in the Philippines, (The Pearl of the Orient Seas) it has layers of meaning that include everything from a simple Hello, to, Here are your cheap Tickets to Philippines.You'll also find the word used as the name of every kind of business from a hotel in Luzon to a travel agency at the international airport in the capital, Manila.
It should be no big surprise that one word has so many uses. After all, there isn't just one island or just one culture or even just one language out there. The Philippine Archipelago is comprised of 7,107 islands, a population of more than 88 million with influences from sources that range from Spain and America in one direction to every Pacific Rim country, and voices speaking more than 180 languages or dialects. Of course, Filipino, Tagalog and English are commonly spoken and used for official and commercial communications.
The Philippines are a major international business travel destination, thanks to innovative and visionary economic policies and education programs during the past few dozens of years. The literacy rate ranks in the same range as the USA. That, and it's ocean location in the same region as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China, translates into frequent low price flights going there on so many airlines that competition results in discounted Flights to Manila, last minute tickets and plenty of discount air fares in both business class and economy class.
Major international businesses have discovered that the Philippines' combination of a strong work ethic, sound education and wide-spread fluency in English, have made it a viable outsourcing partner in intellectually dependent projects. Skillful and highly trained nurses from the Philippines are the backbone of the health profession in many advanced countries. Those activities alone, together with the great availability of cheap business class flights, account for a high percentage of air traffic on airlines to and from the Philippines.
In early September of 2007, Philippines' government officials said that the global deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) for the year is expected to exceed the one-million mark persons and their dispersal to more than 190 countries. If you consider that an annual return visit to spend time with family is common among them, that requires at least two million airplane seats (one in; one out) every year, just for that travel segment alone. Add to that, the significant number of returning workers who bring along spouses and children and you can see that all by themselves they are a special market for low price air fares.
Those same workers remit huge sums of cash. This year (2007), official estimates say that total OFW remittances are expected to approach the 14 billion US dollars level by December this year. But trade also is significant. Last year, close to 42 billion was exported, a thrifty balance to the 42 billions that were imported. Those two numbers alone explain why large numbers of business travelers are filling up international flights in and out of the Philippines.
Tourists and tourism also are becoming an important part of the islands' economy, especially from source countries with the cheapest tickets. According to Sonny Chatrath, president of Air-Savings.Com, The Philippines are a growth tourism market. In addition to our own discount airfares, its luxurious resorts and pristine beaches are real bargains.?
In 2006, Philippines' tourist arrivals totaled 2,799,000. Thanks in part to airline growth and competition, that will increase the number of available airline seats, that number is expected to reach 3.4 million in 2007. So far, those predictions are on target. In the first quarter of 2007, tourist arrivals grew 20% over those in same period last year.
More and more airlines are adding new flights in and out of Manila, and Cebu because of the constant increase in demand for capacity. The busiest travel time for Philippines is Christmas time, when most philippinos are returning home to be with family, and friends. Air Tickets could run as high as a couple of thousand dollars.