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Essay About Philippines Tourism Development

As I noted in my column yesterday, the tourism related websites of the Government of the Philippines are, unfortunately, in a mess. There are simply too many such websites, and each of them seems to be pulling potential tourists in a different direction. In addition to that, much of the information listed on these sites is outdated.

Is this important? Does it really matter much? Well, if you are a poor person in the Philippines (and there are plenty of them around), you better believe that it matters. For years, maybe for decades now, the Philippines has looked to tourism as an industry that could save the country, and pull it up to a higher standard of living.

Where else can the Philippines capitalize and improve the economy? It doesn’t look like the Philippines will become an Industrial power anytime in the foreseeable future. Most manufacturing that is leaving the first world is going to countries like China where labor is very cheap. Labor in the Philippines, while cheap by western standards, is quite expensive in comparison to many of it’s neighbors. Also, the labor laws in the Philippines are generally very worker-friendly. Because of this, it is unlikely that many foreign manufacturers will locate to the Philippines.

When it comes to agricultural production, at this point the Philippines is doing all it can to just keep up with local consumption. As a matter of fact, for almost a decade now, the Philippines has been forced to import rice and other basic commodities from Thailand in order to feed the population. So, it doesn’t look like the Philippines will become rich by exporting food and other agricultural products.

One area where the Philippines is indeed seeing some growth is in the services sector. Call centers, Business Process Outsourcing and such are making strides here. However, the strength of the Philippine Peso is beginning to have a negative impact on the Call Center industry here. Because the Peso is so strong these days, that means that it is getting more expensive for foreign businesses to locate here.
Tourism is the natural place to look in order to strengthen the Philippine economy. Let’s face it, the Philippines is a natural tourist haven, if only tourism were promoted in a better way! The Philippines has so many natural wonders that can attract tourists to come and visit. There is the beauty of the islands, and more than 7,000 of them to choose from! There are festivals somewhere in the country nearly every day of the year. There are many places where you can see indigenous people who are still living life in much the same way that their ancestors did centuries ago. There are true wonders that are almost unbelievable, like the Rice Terraces in Luzon.

So, with all these wonderful tourist destinations, why is the Philippines not a popular tourist spot? Well, I believe that the reason for this is that the Philippines, unfortunately, has a terrible image! When you mention the Philippines to people who have not been here before, they invariably ask about kidnapping. They hear that it is hot, polluted, dirty, crime ridden. The truth is, in my opinion, that many of these issues is way overblown!

  • Hot? Well, yes, it is hot here. But instead of having people think of people sitting in lines at the airport sweating, why not promote images of people frolicking on the beaches, swimming in the beautiful waters? These are hot weather activities, yet enjoyable!
  • Polluted, Dirty? There indeed are some polluted areas in the Philippines. However, if you get out of the major cities, you can really find some areas that are quite pristine. The majority of the islands are relatively unpolluted. Yes, in areas that get a lot of traffic there is plenty of trash that is thrown out along the roads and such. Nothing major, but things like coke cans, wrappers from snack food, or whatever. How about the Department of Tourism sponsoring a clean-up campaign? How about some re-training of people so that they learn to keep the area clean? It is not such a major problem that it can’t be turned around!
  • Crime Ridden? Really, crime in the Philippines is not a huge concern. Violent crime is actually fairly low here, when compared to some other countries. For example, how many tourists get murdered here? Very few. How many tourists get kidnapped? Not many at all. The perception is that these things happen all the time, but it is just not the case. I would say that it has been a minimum of 5 years since there was a major case of a foreigner or tourist in the Philippine being kidnapped. I also have a high degree of certainty that more foreign tourists get killed in the USA than here in the Philippines. Honestly, I don’t remember any recent cases of a foreign tourist getting murdered here. Yes, there is some petty crime – pickpocketing and such, but that is true anywhere you go on earth.

Now, honestly, why isn’t the Philippines doing some self-promotion, advertising the positive sides of the place, in order to counter the negative opinions out there?

You know, it doesn’t even take a huge increase in tourism to start putting a few more clerks to work in hotels, to get more jobs for waiters and waitresses. How about tour guides that can show people around the islands. More tourists means that more taxi drivers are needed to carry them around, more tricycle drivers. How about some resurgence in the old horse drawn carriages (tartanillas)? These are the kinds of things that tourists love! I can see more rural areas where you might have a carabao pulling a wagon that tourists can ride in. That is the kind of thing that is unusual enough that people go home and tell their friends about! And, the more friends they tell, the more other people will come here, which means that more Filipinos will be at work! That also means more airline flights, so more pilots, more stewardesses, etc. It is a process that feeds upon itself!

For the good of the Filipino people, and the good of the country itself, the Department of Tourism needs to get busy! Spend some money to promote the place, it would be a good investment! Are there things in the Philippines that are lacking, or below standard? Yes, there sure are, but those are things that can be fixed! Certainly, the Philippines isn’t dragging too far behind Thailand, and Thailand has a lot more tourists than the Philippines does!

The focus of my thesis is about the “It’s more fun in the Philippines” Campaign Slogan. I will discuss to you about why is it more fun in the Philippines. There are already several tourists who proclaims that it is more fun here in the Philippines. Have you been wondering why? Well maybe you’re wondering why because you haven’t been here. Well, to answer all your questions, I will state some facts here in my paper about why is it More Fun in the Philippines. I sincerely hope that you’ll enjoy reading this and hopefully, i will be able to satisfy your curiosity.

First, There are so many beautiful places here in the Philippines like Luneta Park, Burnham Park, Puerto Prinsesa, Boracay, and etc. You will really enjoy viewing the scenery. I assure you that you will really appreciate everything that you will see here.

Second, Filipinos are known as cheerful people. We Filipinos love to smile and laugh. Even though we are burdened by problems, you wouldn’t notice it for we always laugh like we don’t have a care in the world. We are also known as hospitable and friendly. Whether you’re a tourist or a fellow Filipino, we’ll surely welcome you warmly here in the Philippines.

Third, we Filipinos are also known for our delicacies. Personally, not being able to taste food here in the Philippines, would be like missing a big part in my life. You must be thinking that i’m exaggerating, but i assure you, once you taste our food here, you’ll regret everything you thought.

Lastly, We are also known for “Bayanihan”. We always help those who are in need. For example, there’s a calamity here in the Philippines. Filipino’s would surely find a way to help each other. Even though we have problems ourselves, we’ll always find a way to help those in need.

With that, I can conclude that It is More Fun in the Philippines.

Background of the Study

This study aimed to document the production of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) new international tourism campaign tagline “It’s more fun in the Philippines” and to explore the factors behind the Agency’s decision to tap the Social Media as its primary vehicle in promoting Philippine tourism through the new campaign slogan. The study likewise assessed the effectiveness of the new media strategy in reaching its target market – foreign tourists. Open-ended interview guides were used in securing information from DOT and the Ad Firm responsible for the development of the new tourism campaign. A one-page structured-survey questionnaire was used particularly in generating feedback from foreign tourists on their awareness and perception of the new tourism promotion tagline “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”

A narration of the circumstances and process in the production of the new tourism campaign was made, together with an enumeration of the primary reasons behind the choice of the social media as the platform and channel in waging the new tourism campaign. The survey results showed that the Internet ranks Number 1 as a source of information on general matters and is a close second to friends, relatives and co-workers as the source of information that influenced the decision of foreign tourists to come to the Philippines. Quizzed and presented the current and the four other past tourism campaign taglines to determine their awareness of the present campaign, 47% of the foreign respondents accurately identified “It’s more fun in the Philippines” as the current tagline. The respondents likewise rated the current tourism tagline as “highly acceptable” on its appeal, capacity to attract interest, reasonableness, realism, recall facility, and its capacity to be understood.

Finally, the use of the Internet social media as the launching pad and channel for the campaign may be considered effective on the grounds that about 50% of the foreign respondents were aware of the new campaign slogan, and that 33% got their information from the Internet. The reach of the campaign in a very short period was already very encouraging. It is recommended that the DOT extend or make its own survey if only to determine the number of foreign tourists who are attracted to come to the Philippines on account of the new tourism tagline “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” There is also a need to customize a language translation service in the DOT website to make the campaign more virally far reaching.

Statement of the Problem

1. Do you think that a tourism campaign slogan plays an important role in attracting foreigners? 2. Do you agree with our campaign slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines”? 3. Do you think the DOT campaign slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines!” is effective in terms of the tourism arrivals in the country? 4. Do you think that our recent tourism campaign slogan should remain the same or should it be changed?

Significance of the Study

To give information of how the “ It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan was created or invented. To broaden the knowledge of the people about the new slogan campaign of the Department of Tourism. To know if the new slogan campaign is effective or not the tourism of the Philippines. To know what are the problems encountered by the Department of Tourism regarding their new slogan campaign. To help the Department of Tourism on how they can promote and improve more their campaign to have a higher number of tourism arrivals.

Scope and Limitations of the Study

DOT launched again a new slogan. A line that would be easily understood. “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” is the same as “It’s More Fun in Switzerland”. According to Rome (2012) in her article in The Inquirer, the new tourism slogan of the Philippines is gaining more positive reactions from Filipinos since January when the slogan was released. The Department of Tourism said it spent P63 Million to buy good exposure for the campaign’s television advertisement on CNN, that has been aired in Asia, Europe and the United States. “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” has also launched at the International Travel Bourse in Berlin, which was attended by thousands of travel buyers.

The campaign had already made a long way from its social media success where different versions of the slogan were posted in the internet. There are some airplanes that promote the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign by painting the said slogan on the exterior of the plane. Half-Filipino American Idol Season II runner-up Jessica Sanchez is now the newest model of the poster of the Department of Tourism’s vast campaign. According to Department of Tourism (2012), since the campaign of “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” was launched in January, the Department of Tourism stayed positive because of the effects that the slogan gave.

According to Secretary Jimenez, There are currently policy reforms to facilitate the entry of the foreign tourists, infrastructure developments to improve the travel areas within the country, investments for expanding and improving the transportation, recreation facilities and accommodations that will help the Department of Tourism meet the year-end target. According to IPSOS Philippines, the slogan is “communicating its intended messaging that is making each Filipino proud and tell how beautiful the Philippines is, making people want to travel more and visit different tourist spots around the country, and making people believe and see that it is truly more fun in the Philippines.

Visitor arrivals to the Philippines stroked the target of an all-time high of 1,148,072 during the first three months of the year, posting an increase of 16.03 percent compared to last year’s arrivals of 989,501 for the same period. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Department of Tourism (DOT) undersecretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. has announced the good news that 2.14 million foreign travellers visited the country from January to June this year. The figure was 11.68 percent higher compared to the same period in 2011. The local tourism industry targets 4.6 million tourists by the end of the year.