More and more Filipinos have developed – or are developing – the love for travelling. Most of them allocate a significant portion of their monthly salary to see either the hidden gems of their country or embrace the culture of others.
Nielsen did a breakdown of where Filipinos seek travel experience within the archipelago. According to the 2014 study, close to 30% of its citizens invest their hard-earned money in travelling, as disposable incomes increase and plane tickets become more affordable.
Conversely, when it comes to international travel, one thing that hinders Pinoy travellers – apart from the actual cost itself – is the challenge of acquiring a tourist visa. Yes, it can be difficult at times to get the details right, but once they do, Filipinos enjoy all the perks of travelling just like a random person at an airport.
Wanderlass accounts the challenges, as well as a rundown of requirements, when applying for a tourist visa. In the article, she focuses on travelling to a specific nation, a European country that presents Filipinos a sort of breath of fresh air away from the usual: the United Kingdom.
To ease budding wanderers minds a little, local news website ABS-CBN claims that most UK visa applications are successful. In fact, 89% of Filipino applicants were given these coveted stamps of approval – a 16% growth from the previous year. This also contributed to the emergence of the UK as a legitimate travel destination for Filipinos, according to Amy R. Remo of the Inquirer.
Now that the aura of grandeur has been cleared, it’s time to focus on the important details within the UK and why Filipinos will enjoy travelling to the country. First off, it’s about its airports. London, for one, has Heathrow Airport, which CNN pegs as one of the best in the world. This aviation hub, in a way, is a precursor for an exciting European adventure and will be the cherry on top of the icing once they wrap up their trip.
From its massive yet crowded airport parking spaces to the bevvy of commuting options nearby, London Heathrow represents the city’s efficient transportation sector. For Filipino tourists, the quickest way to reach the central part of the capitol from the airport is via the Heathrow Express, which only takes about 15 minutes of travel time. A less expensive alternative, according to one of Parking4Less’ information pages on Heathrow, is to take the Piccadilly Line of the iconic Tube. Once they sorted things out in the city, it’s time to fall even more in love with London.
Contrary to popular belief, London isn’t a place fit for the rich and famous. Truth be told, there are tons of activities to do and places to see for free. There are cultural establishments such as the Natural History Museum along Cromwell Road, which is easily accessible via the South Kensington station of the Tube. Tourists also love spending time amidst the tranquillity of gardens like Wimbledon Common and Hyde Park. Aside from traditional afternoon teas, London offers a range of affordable gastronomies, highlighted by the street food centre in Brixton.
Travelling to London for Filipinos can be a daunting idea altogether, as there will always be the factors of visa requirements and over-the-top expenses. However, by looking way past these collective misconceptions, one will see this European city as a reasonable travel destination that has a place in anyone’s bucket list.
This article is brought to you by a Londoner who is excited about people traveling to his home country. With all the Brexit news going around the internet lately, I thought it would be a good idea for him to detail why we should not discount a visit to London and anywhere in the UK in the near future. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading this and are now inspired to visit England. I myself am still saving for my trip there. Cheers!