The past few months have seen a number of unprecedented changes in nearly every aspect of our lives. The ways we socialize, eat, go to work, travel, and more are all nearly unrecognizable when compared to our lifestyles six months ago, and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface. The effects of the global pandemic COVID-19 are far reaching, and are likely to be felt years and years into the future.
While we struggle to comprehend the depths of the pandemic’s impact on the Philippine economy, lifestyle, and education, there are certain sectors that have been harder hit than others. One of these sectors is, predictably, travel and tourism. Since flights first began slowing down and then stopping completely at the beginning of 2020, the industry has had to completely restructure. Here’s a look at just how the Philippine tourism industry has changed, and what it could look like in the future.
There’s nothing that comes close to the experience of camping in the great outdoors, and thanks to the activity’s growing popularity, it seems most of America is inclined to agree. CNBC reported in 2018 that at least 77 million American households had at least one camper, with numbers growing yearly. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of city and suburban life certainly has its appeal, but the downside is that lifelong urbanites might balk at making the shift.
Social media has become an almost inescapable part of our
daily lives. Ever since the emergence of social media platforms in the late
90s, modern society has learned to connect and communicate in ways that would
have almost seemed impossible decades before. Social media influences the way
we speak, the music we listen to, where we travel, what we eat, and what we
wear— and at the forefront of that are the influencers.
Traveling is an opportunity to visit areas that are off the beaten path. With access to different areas in the world steadily growing thanks to improvements in transport and tourism, more people have the opportunity now to explore hidden gems. More than just seeing the sights or checking out the most Instagrammable spots, travelers should use the experience to enrich themselves and learn more about a place’s history and culture.
Opening opportunities for knowledge and skills exchange is essential to the career of any student or professional. These opportunities may not always be limited to the Philippines– in fact, broadening one’s horizon in a foreign country is an experience that many should take advantage of. If you’re a student or professional in the Philippines, visa concerns remain one of the biggest hurdles to taking up further studies and training abroad. The visa application process can be long and arduous, and only proper preparation can result in an approved visa.
The Philippines has friendly relationships with a lot of countries, which at the very least increases the chances of visa approval. One of the types of visa Filipino citizens can apply for is the J-1 visa. The U.S. Government’s Exchange Visitor Program and J1 visa means that participants have the opportunity to engage with U.S. culture, strengthen their English language skills, and learn and build new skills that will help them further their careers. The J1 visa stands out from other visa types by allowing successful applicants the opportunity for professional growth that may not have been available to them otherwise.
The second casino and resort to rise in the Entertainment
City complex, City of Dreams saw its doors open with a soft opening on December
14, 2014, and a grand opening on February 2, 2015. It celebrated its inauguration
with a bang through the Concert of Dreams, which featured local talents like
Gary Valenciano and Zsa Zsa Padilla, as well as international stars like Ne-Yo
and Kelly Rowland.
City of Dreams is a sister resort to City of Dreams in
Macau, but it has its own unique Manila flair that makes it stand out. The
resort has six hotel towers with 938 rooms, including Nobu Hotel, Nuwa
(formerly known as Crown Towers), and a Hyatt Regency Hotel.
In addition to this, City of Dreams is also a gamer’s haven,
with 289 gaming tables, 1,620 slot machines, and 176 electronic table games.
For shopaholics, it’s also home to The Shops at the Boulevard, an almost 80,000
square meter shopping mall housing the best local and international brands
around. Families will also enjoy DreamPlay, a theme park located in the complex
that was developed in partnership with DreamWorks Animation, as well as The
Garage, a VR play and dining experience that’ll knock your socks off.
One of the most awe-inspiring sites in the City of Dreams
complex includes the Fortune Egg, a dome-like building that houses two of the
best international nightclubs in Manila. Visitors can choose between Chaos or
Pangaea, both of which were developed by the group of “International King
of Clubs” Michael Van Cleef Ault.
When it comes to glitz and glamor in the Philippines,
Solaire Resort and Casino has quickly climbed to the top of the list after its
opening in 2013. The first of four resorts to operate in Manila’s Entertainment
City, Solaire first opened its doors on March 16, 2013, with 800 guest rooms,
suites, and villas.
It currently holds the distinction of being the tallest
hotel in the Manila Bay area, and features a column-free grand ballroom that
can accommodate 1,300 guests, 8 function rooms and 2 boardrooms with
audiovisual equipment, leisure, live entertainment, dining, and retail hubs,
and the Theatre at Solaire, which houses 1,740 seats and a retail space of
60,000 square meters. Last but definitely not the least, Solaire also boasts an
18,500 square meter gaming area with 1,620 slot machines and 360 gaming tables.
Bright lights, gaming and leisure, and balmy, tropical
weather— these words don’t just describe entertainment tourism stalwarts like
Las Vegas and Macau. When it comes to leisure, there’s a new kid on the
proverbial block, and it looks like it’s aiming to be a powerhouse. The
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)’s Entertainment City has
been in operation for several years, and is well on its way to transforming the
face of Philippine tourism.
With integrated resorts and casinos, as well as dozens of
high-end shopping and dining prospects, Entertainment City showcases the best
of Philippine entertainment tourism. Here’s a primer on what you can expect
from the glitz and glamor of this expanding gaming and entertainment complex.