PRIVATE tourism stakeholders are looking forward to more MICE (meetings, incentives conventions exhibitions) events to help boost inbound arrivals, and enable the country to reach government’s target of 4.8 million international tourists this year.
Speaking in reaction to the latest inbound tourists report from the Department of Tourism (DOT), Tourism Congress of the Philippines president Robert Zozobrado told the BusinessMirror, “We’re grinning from ear to ear. We’re confident we can surpass our target of 4.8-million arrivals target because the Convention Season is still coming.”
Country brands in Sona
This developed as President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. pointed out during his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, the reported 3-million arrival of international tourists from January to July 19 “is already 62 percent of our 4.8-million target for the entire year.” He used the occasion to insert two of the new country brands developed by the DOT and Presidential Adviser on Creative Communications, “Love the Philippines” and “Bagong Pilipinas,” respectively.
Citing the competent and dedicated government workers, he said, “It is up to us to provide good leadership and guidance. They love the Philippines, and have responded to our call.” He added that Filipinos have risen to the challenge to be part of the country’s future, an indication that “the state of the nation is sound, and is improving. Dumating na po ang Bagong Pilipinas [The new Philippines has arrived].”
Marcos Jr. gave the keynote address at the DOT’s 50th anniversary celebration, where it unveiled the “Love the Philippines” slogan and tourism video, which used foreign scenes. The controversy continues to hound the government agency, which has yet to respond to specific questions on who at the DOT gave final say over the video’s showing and how much exactly will be paid to DDB Philippines Inc., the advertising agency which was responsible for the video. (See, “Stakeholders, TPB shut of new tourism drive decision,” in the BusinessMirror, July 3, 2023.)
60K visitors for FIBA World Cup
Meanwhile, TCP’s Zozobrado noted the expected participation of 800 local and international delegates from the finance sector, who will be attending the Alliance of Financial Inclusion’s Global Policy Forum on September 12 to 15 hosted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. He also said, “36 terms participating in the FIBA Basketaball World Cup is expected to draw in 60,000 visitors during its two-week run,” from August 25 to September 10.
He likewise cited the recent arrival of some 300 Filipino-Americans on the VIP (Very Important Pinoy) tour, a project annually undertaken between Rajah Tours Philippines with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Formerly called the Ambassadors and Consuls General Tour, the VIP Tour involves the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C and consular offices in the US and is now in its 14th year. (See, “Envoys wooing ‘VIPs’ to come home, tour islands,” in the BusinessMirror, January 23, 2023.)
“We, in the industry, are ablaze with excitement and enthusiasm over the bright, sunny horizon before us,” said Zozobrado.
The DOT recently reported the 3 million inbound travelers from January to July 19 this year, with South Koreans maintaining its lead as the Philippines’ top source market tourists. (See, “South Koreans ‘loving’ PHL help boost tourist arrivals to 3 million,” in the BusinessMirror, July 20, 2023.)