April 20, 2018, 1:27 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07053 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99923 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03418 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.38677 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02467 Australian Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0192 Bermuda Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.13175 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06526 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0192 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26032 Bhutan Ngultrum
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1 Philippine Peso = 384.48243 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03837 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02421 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01858 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.41406 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12052 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 52.12791 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.7778 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0192 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.71039 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39282 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.39601 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11551 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94891 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1798 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24262 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33916 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52276 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01551 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03865 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01348 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01349 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08525 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89975 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.80584 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14089 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.95007 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15072 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45249 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11491 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24505 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.8093 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 264.60534 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06739 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26727 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.73862 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 806.60649 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91031 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.37565 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01361 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06171 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92145 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.32194 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.97331 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.61206 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.28442 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.40042 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00575 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01575 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.25043 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.93989 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.9034 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99693 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.50451 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22892 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05855 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01192 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02543 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17577 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31452 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94968 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.52333 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.86134 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15521 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.76013 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64144 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29902 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.70175 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35007 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07459 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22915 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.87536 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59554 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14884 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01652 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02629 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00739 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0192 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06176 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06241 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21836 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06459 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.04187 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0699 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07223 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16816 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.22066 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07202 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14768 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25792 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34667 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.161 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02513 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01349 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42646 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.53351 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.79316 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 380.06338 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16804 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.89015 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22917 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.599 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04602 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04292 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07736 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12961 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56365 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.7488 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.50259 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.84694 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0192 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54158 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 154.65719 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1139.831 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 437.43038 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00538 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04922 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.16881 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05185 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.16881 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.83983 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.79931 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2292 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.66391 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.95026 Zimbabwe dollar

The rise of the Korean wave

SEOUL. -- South Korea, the top source of tourists in the Philippines, may not be the Filipinos’ main tourism destination but it certainly has become a favorite in recent years.

With the affordability of travelling offered by low-cost carriers (LCCs) like the Philippines’ own Cebu Pacific Air, exploring the “Land of the Morning Calm” has never been made more accessible to Filipino travelers than it is now.

Among the five big Asean countries, the Philippines ranked second in terms of tourist arrivals to Korea in 2017, totaling 448,702.

Hyuk Shin Kang, country manager for Korea of Cebu Pacific, attributes to the Korean wave—K-pop, K-drama and K-movie—the fascination of Filipinos to Korea.

Oliver Sison, general manager of Far Eastern Travel Agency, said Korea holds a certain allure to the Filipino leisure traveler because of the heightened exposure to Korean people and culture. 

Citing a survey by the Korean Tourism Organization, Kang said the most visited places of Filipinos in Korea are Myeong-dong, Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Tower, Nami Island, Pusan and Jeju Island.

But the average Filipino’s exposure is not limited to the big and small screens. It has gone personal as well.

Sison said Filipinos now get to interact with the large number of long-staying Korean travelers who are in the Philippines taking three to six months English language courses. 

The proliferation of Korea’s cosmetic brands, restaurants and grocery stores locally have also all the more made the Korean craving easy to satisfy.

But for Sison, nothing beats word-of-mouth from family and friends who have already visited Korea.

Kang added the number of young people visiting Korea has increased recently as LCCs’ services to Korea expand. 

Filipinos would normally come to Korea with family or friends through package products.

According to Kang, South Korea is often considered inexpensive and affordable for tourists due to the strong supply of tourist-related businesses along with a still growing cost of living.

For budget travelers, there are affordable, but clean and modern, guesthouses available in Korea. Korea public transportation is  relatively cheap and comfortable making commuting even for tourists a breeze.

“In the end, it really depends on how one budgets his trip wisely,” Kang said.

Sison said Filipinos usually visit Seoul and its environs with Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces  as the top destinations.  Specific attractions and activities in these areas which are often patronized by Filipino tourists include the demilitarized zone or DMZ, Nami Island, theme parks like Everland and Lotte World as well as shopping in Seoul’s numerous night markets and shopping streets.

Sison said Korea offers many options for all budgets. 

“The amount spent on travel really depends on one’s preferences and tastes,” he said.

There are little known treats that Filipinos could try when visiting Korea.

“For the ordinary Filipino tourist visiting Korea, a visit can be enhanced by activities such as learning how to cook or prepare Korean food which are familiar to Filipinos such as kimchi, bibimbap, bulgogi, etc,” Sison said.

Sison added there are  also seasonal activities that Filipinos can indulge in in Korea such as skiing in winter, fruit picking in summer or admiring autumn foliage.

“Highlighting a trip with watching a K-Pop performance or witnessing a shooting of a Korean drama episode would also be a good idea,” Sison said.   

A good four-day, three-night package using three -star accommodations with the basic Seoul City tour, Nami Island and/or DMZ and a theme park visit can cost approximately $400 to $500 per person. 

Land arrangements for four days-three nights in Seoul would cost $400 to $500. 

While more Filipinos are lured by the Korean wave to visit South Korea, more Koreans have, in fact, visited the Philippines.  

In 2017, Korean tourists accounted for a quarter of total arrivals to 1.6 million, an 8 percent increase from 1.48 million in 2016.

Kang said the Philippines is the fourth top destination of Korean tourists after Japan, Vietnam and Thailand.

Citing a survey of  the Korea Tourism Organization, Kang said Koreans travelled abroad 2.6 times or  5.9 days  in 2017. 

Nine in 10 said they  travel overseas in summer or on public holidays.

According to Kang, Koreans prefer travelling overseas if there is not much price difference between domestic travel and overseas travel. 

For Koreans, cost effectiveness is the most important factor when they plan overseas travel.

Kang also noted consumption pattern of Koreans is changing that they tend to spend money for leisure such as travel, cultural life and hobbies. 

“They are trying to enhance the quality of their life and it can be expressed as `YOLO’ (you only live once),” Kang said.

Koreans also get exposed to overseas travel related TV shows  which are booming  in Korea.

 “Through these kinds of programs, people could experience foreign countries indirectly and it lead people to travel overseas,” Kang added.

Just like in other markets, growth of low-cost carriers (LCCs) has provided more fare options and budget flexibility for Koreans     

Cebu Pacific is one of 11 airlines currently operating between the Philippines and Korea. Four of these airlines are full service carriers , four are Korean LCCs and three are foreign LCCs, one of them Cebu Pacific.

These 11 carriers share 1.6 million in seat capacity.

According to Kang, Cebu Pacific is gaining ground in Korea due to a combination of factors.

Koreans travel to the Philippines both for leisure and business.

Price-wise, special fares and aggressive pricing for tour groups also entice travelers.

Kang said in addition to package tours, Cebu Pacific is  working on developing products and securing channels to attract diving, golf, and language abroad (English as Second Language)  markets.

Cebu Pacific is likewise  pushing products such as Incheon to Sydney and Singapore via Manila

The carrier also continues to promote the Philippines as a destination for Korean tourists through exposure in media such as TV shopping, social media and top ranked TV programs

But according to Kang, competition is stiff for popular Philippine holiday destinations such as Cebu and Boracay, as other airlines are aggressively adding more flights for these route.  

Still, Kang sees the market for Korean travel to the Philippines growing and for Cebu Pacific to maintain its strength.

The Philippines and Korea last November signed a new air services agreement which would allow carriers from the two countries to operate an unlimited number of flights out of all Philippine airports except for Manila.

For the Korean tourists, the Philippines is a leisure destination, so the demand will gradually increase according to the development and stability of the local infrastructure, Kang said.

There were plans to operate additional daily flights in  Incheon to Kalibo.

However, in accordance with the government’s plan for closure of Boracay, Cebu Pacific  may need to rethink whether to operate the route.

Cebu has its Korea organic office, a testament to strong market demand and even greater potential for growth, according to Kang.
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