October 2014, Issue: 10 Volume: 32

News

Philippines promises ‘more fun’ for visitors
February 201216

AT this year’s ASEAN Tourism Forum at Manado, Indonesia Philippines  launches its brand new marketing campaign - ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines.’

“ATF 2012 is a perfect platform to introduce to some 1,600 international delegates composed of buyers and sellers, the NTO community and media delegates,” Philippine tourism secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said.

Focusing on the country’s core strength, the campaign singles out what no other destination can offer - and that is the Filipino people.  The Lonely Planet guidebook calls Filipinos ‘among the most easygoing and ebullient people anywhere.’ 

“Our strategy is simple: while other countries invite you to observe, Filipinos can promise a more heartfelt and interesting experience. Wherever you go, whatever you do in the country, it’s the Filipinos that will complete your vacation and will make your holiday unforgettable,” says the new tourism chief, who accepted the post in September 2011.

The Filipinos are already known around the world to be one of the happiest and warmest people on earth. In a survey conducted among expatriates by international bank HSBC, it was revealed that the Philippines is the eighth friendliest country for them. The campaign hopes to enjoin the whole country in creating positive buzz of the tagline. The campaign was already a hit on social media website Twitter, when it was introduced to local media. 

Meanwhile, the ‘#1FORFUN’ local slogan aims to rally the Filipino nation to strengthen and sustain this well-appreciated fun character and be a “constant reminder to make sure people’s experiences in our country are positive, enjoyable, and most of all, fun,” Jimenez added.

Philippines registered very healthy growth in number of visitors from around the globe. From January to November 2011, visitor arrivals reached a total of 3, 522, 887 surpassing the 2010 year-end arrivals of 3, 520, 471. This feat recorded an increase of 12.66 per cent over its previous year’s volume of 3,126,886 covering the same months. The biggest arrivals were registered in July with a volume of 360,784 visitors while the month of November recorded the highest growth of 19.80 per cent. During the same period, visitors from the Middle East Region posted very good increase of 19.35 per cent compared to the same period last year. The region’s top visitors were from Saudi Arabia (+28 per cent), UAE (+11 per cent) and Kuwait (+18 per cent), which all registered positive gains. 

Another significant measure that the tourism ministers agreed to fast track is the development of a common visa for non-ASEAN nationals. This is also related to the goal of the regional bloc of attracting 107 million tourists by 2015. The combined visits to the ten-member nations totalled 79 million in 2011. Jimenez  is optimistic that of this figure, 7.7 per cent will be generated by the Philippines or around 8.2 million. 

“We have just successfully rolled out our new branding campaign in the presence of international travel executives, national tourism organizations and media practitioners during the ASEAN Tourism Forum,” Jimenez said. 

Talks were likewise advanced with dialogue partners China, India, Japan and Korea on various cooperation activities that deepen cross-cultural relations, improve exchange of information and technology and travel between and among these countries.