Cheaper airfares are on the way for Australians looking to travel to Manila via the Sydney Airport, as low-cost Philippines-based carrier Cebu Pacific prepares to offer more flights at bargain basement prices.
The agreement between Cebu and the Sydney Airport, will see one-way flights from Sydney to Manila for as low as $99 for Australians booking flights between the dates of September 9 to December 31, beginning June 19.
Once the available seats under the promotional fare are gone, the cost for a one-way ticket will go up to $335.
Justin Wastnage, director of Aviation Policy for the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF), said the fees cited by Cebu are inclusive of the government tax and the listed prices are what you’ll get.
Other low-cost carriers who provide flights from Sydney to Bali or Bangkok, such as Jet Star or Air Asia, have comparative, or better, prices than what Cebu is offering outside of the $99 promotion. If you get the fare for $99 the deal is great, but only if you get the deal in time.
• Jet Star: $299 to $415 to Bali; $387 to Bangkok
• Air Asia: $245 to Bangkok and $280 to Bali
Road to tourism recovery
The Philippines is still recovery mode from the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan, and parts of the country are still greatly damaged, adding to the already problematic homeless and poverty issue.
Although the Filipino economy has remained resilient, it’s looking to increase its pocket books for recovery through tourist dollars, which can spawn business and jobs for the country.
The tourism industry in the Philippines is heavily promoting 7000-or-so islands, which include pristine locations like Boracay, Palaui Island and El Nido as a strategy of appeal to bring in more traveller’s dollars.
Boracay is best known for the annual migration of whale sharks, and is one of the many islands which are said to compare with some of Thailand and Bali’s best locations.
Living costs in the Philippines is also dirt-cheap. The currency conversion rate stands at $1 to 41.08 Filipino Pesos, making the cost of delicious local dishes like Lumpia or Pancit, easily affordable, along with accommodation and day-to-day necessities.
Dangers of the Philippines
The Australian Government warns against travel in areas like the Mindanao province and also warns of kidnappings in the south Philippines, especially in hot spots for tourists near the Sulu Sea and the Zamboanga Peninsula.
Human trafficking is also a problem in the country, and fuels the illicit sex trade. This is also a problem in Thailand and other locations throughout South East Asia.
It should be noted that both Thailand and the Philippines have the same level of caution by the Australian Government, but as you would on any holiday, be careful.