For Filipino tourists who are not sure of what to do or where to go in Melbourne, Australian Tours and Holidays (ATH) is one of Cebu Pacific’s preferred partner to handle your accommodations and itinerary. The Filipino-owned travel agency that is based on Australia has served thousands of Pinoy tourists and hopes to serve more after Cebu Pacific started offering its Manila-Melbourne route last year.
“They said the Philippine market is one of Australia’s top 20 markets but I think it’s within the top 10 already,” said Gina Gaw, General Manager of ATH. during an interview at Cebu Pacific’s Australia Travel Update press conference in Pasay City last February.
While she recommend visiting Melbourne between September and November, which is springtime in Australia, many Filipino tourists begin visiting the country by February. She also said that Melbourne has its unique charm to any tourist. It may not be as big as Sydney but the cosmopolitan district of Melbourne has that right mix of old and new architecture.
Gaw also recommends the annual Melbourne Cup Carnival – a week-long event in Australia every November. For this year, it will happen from November 2 to 9. And for those interested in fashion and design, they will want to experience Kennedy Oaks Day (scheduled on November 7). It holds a fashion designing contest for non-professional designers and audiences to showcase their artistic talents from headwear to footwear and a Lexus car await the winner. Tourists are welcome to join the said contest.
Gaw mentioned some of the destinations that ATH recommends in Melbourne which includes Sovereign Hill, an area where tourists can experience the Gold Rush setting during the 1850s; the Reynard Orchard for fruit picking activities; and Queen Victoria Market for a shopping experience comparable to Manila’s Divisoria.
ATH was able to usher in an average of 5,000 Filipino tourists per month during the period of February to November, visited Australia last year. “The groups we’ve brought in last year are mostly group tours coming from big companies based in the Philippines,” Gaw said. It excludes free individual tourists (FITs) who are either solo travelers, couples or tourists groups composed of seven (7) individuals or less and usually book their air transportation and accommodation online.
Cebu Pacific aims to entice more Filipino travelers by offering more promo fares to its Manila-Melbourne route in the coming months.