P554M for tourism promotions

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Saturday, June 28, 2014


GOVERNMENT has released P554.4 million to the Tourism Promotions Board (TBP) for tourism marketing and promotional activities, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced yesterday.

According to the DBM’s website, the funding will support the efforts of the TBP to highlight the country’s products, landmark destinations, and services to achieve tourism and investment targets of 10 million tourists by 2016.

TBP is an attached agency of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

“We’re already seeing more foreign tourists flocking to the country, and the local tourism industry is now at its most vibrant. This latest release supports our efforts to bring more visitors into the country. While broadening the government’s tourism campaign will certainly be a major component in our marketing efforts, the fact that the country has so much to offer to both our domestic and foreign tourists is a definite advantage,” said DBM Secretary Florencio Abad.

“Further improving our growing tourism industry will help create more business opportunities and generate more jobs in tourism-oriented communities. This will, in turn, complement our other efforts in pursuing our bigger goals of economic expansion and inclusive growth,” he added.

Of the P554.4-million fund release, DBM said, P429.4 million will be charged against the TBP Fund under the Special Account in the General Fund to cover the first-quarter operating requirements of the TPB.

The remaining P125 million is part of the promotions board’s regular subsidy and will be used for its second-quarter funding needs.

The Philippines welcomed 1,696,537 international visitors during the first four months this year, up by 2.85 percent from 1,649,458 recorded in the same period in 2013. The month of April logged 386,656 visitors, a 2.33 percent increase from 377,879 the previous year.

What it does

TPB’s promotional activities include organizing the country’s participation in trade and consumer fairs and other related exhibitions and events. They also conduct invitational and familiarization programs for wholesalers, retailers, members of the media, and other influential groups and individuals to promote awareness and create a demand for Philippine tourist destinations.

The agency also rolls out various multimedia campaigns to attract more international visitors and local tourists to visit and experience the country.

“There is a need to step up our marketing efforts as our neighbors are not sitting still. Like us, they have also leveled up in terms of marketing efforts, shifted gears to adjust in the changing travel market and embarked on cost-effective marketing strategies,” said DOT Assistant Secretary Benito Bengzon during the recently-concluded Tourism and Investment Forum held in Cebu.

He noted that the DOT has already released some destination-oriented advertisements, promoting Boracay, Davao and recently Manila, which were aired by CNN. Bengzon said Cebu has already completed its version. He urged other key tourism cities to also come up with their own destination-oriented videos.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 28, 2014.

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