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Why there are very few backpackers in Philippines
I often wonder why there is really almost zero backpackers in the Philippines, have been here about 4 times now, it is becoming clear.
My instincts says that the Philippines is too dangerous for the average Asia traveler, I started out in Mexico, Central and South America and this country is easy for me, however Thailand is very safe in comparison to the Philippines.
I find that I ignore so many things that the average traveler would find extremely annoying, and I have learned by going to India to ignore many things.
- V I A G R A Sales persons
- Poverty of small children walking around with no clothes, hard on the heart.
- World Class Taxi Driver, probably some of the best at trying to cheat you on the planet.
- A daily scam attempt or someone trying to fraud you.
I have been thinking about starting a Hostel in the Philippines, I am putting on the very back burner as this place has a problem. It is not the corruption that worries me; it is the fact that there are no backpackers.
I realized, I want to have a Hostel or Hotel where fun backpackers could hang out.
How could this happen, when there is no backpackers in the Philippines?
The Expats are fun, they are hilarious, and the girls are funny here.
IF I listen to the Philippines persons or the Expats it is like watching a soap opera, or better yet, like going to the border towns and listening to the border people, a whole separate culture.
However, I realize, this is hilarious for about 2 weeks, then it start to buzz my head, I start to get impatient with the stupid comments. I really do not like soap operas, and the Philippines are one big soap opera.
This has made me realize, if I made a hotel in the Philippines is would be another soap opera unless I could figure out a way to screen the visitors.
What I am fighting is a tourist department and country that is actively promoting only one type of person to feel good in the Philippines. They all go to Angeles City, and hang out or Subic Bay. The ones that are not there have a Philippines girl in tow and touring the country.
It makes me weak after awhile, not a good snapshot of life or people.
My gut says that Peru is the best place to start a Hotel or Hostel, a better type of traveler.
Why there are very few backpackers in Philippines
I'd missed this post of yours and am pleased to find out that you have already realized that operating a hostel / hamg out for backpackers here in the Philippines would not only be FUN, an adventure in itself but also more profitable than in most deveoping nations in the world with much less competition. You mentioned the issue of screening out the NON backackers. I know California hostels screen out the homeless by requiring an international airline ticket and or passport. So it occurred to e that you could screen out nonbackpackers by requiring to see at least 2 or 3 stamps on their passports of countries other than their own country of origin. Another way to screen out others is by NOT offering air-conditioned rooms NOR Cable TV because most real world travelers / backpackers find no need of either nor want to pay more for such. Another subtle way is making some sort of age limit like not allowing anyone over a certain age to check in. One more way is to simply maintain a certain ATTITUDE which you already maintain naturally as just being YOU, YOURSELF of ZERO toleration for certain type so behavior or answers to questions which rubs you the wrong way. That will screen out MOST if NOT all such NON backpacker types which you deem UNWORTHY of your companionship / accommodation. We did this for maybe the first 10 years until we went to the States for our daughter's education.
Of course PRICE is nearly EVERYTHING when it comes to budget travelers or backpackers so some Australian Hostels also offer FREE stays for backpacker residents who help clean up and change the beddings etc. I really have no idea but it's probable that you might have your own "fan base" so setting up a hostel / guesthouse could provide that "base" a solitary location where they could pass through and "pick your brains" or share travel adventure stories together with each other. So WHY NOT! It seems a natural small "business' for a well traveled adventurous person who likes to have FUN ut also feels the need for a "homebase". WE LOVE WHAT WE DO!
Interesting comments, I have been traveling and living on and off in the Philippines for almost 13 years...yes, I am a 'foreigner' a label which is applied to all aliens by the Philippians, regardless how long one lives in their country. Its an ongoing love-hate relations, I personally try to 'blend in', to varying degrees, trying to be accepted. In all these years I never made a single Filipino male friend, but then, I am operating from a western point of view. Part of the problem is money, if one is lucky enough to hold down some job in PI the daily salary would be around 120 peso for a waitress or 250 to 300 for a trades man...thats about 4 to 8 US$ per day. so naturally one automatically becomes a 'rich' mark. Education is poor, opportunities are few, if any. Religion has a firm grip, birth control is a sin, organised corruption in the police and government is enormous, life is cheep. On the other hand, the islands are beautiful, transport is available everywhere, I am not sure its a good place for pack backers.. its a hard place to travel, especially in the provinces. But then, that makes it interesting.