THE Department of Tourism had its regional launching for the "Bring Home a Friend to the Philippines" program on Monday, November 13 at Pearl Farm Marina, Lanang, Davao City.
The program which seeks to give incentives to participants by encouraging Filipinos to promote tourism by inviting foreign friends for a reunion.
DOT-Davao regional director Roberto Alabado III said the program will redefine Philippine tourism as it highlights reunion of family and/or friends.
"More than just visiting places, tourism is also about bringing people together," Tourism secretary Wanda Teo said in a speech read by Assistant Secretary Eden David.
Apart from increasing the number of foreign arrivals,the program also envisions to empower Filipinos to actively take part in tourism promotions.
She bared that for the first seven months of 2017, DOT has recorded 3.93 million foreign arrivals, which was an increase from the last year’s mark of 3.54 million.
"The numbers show that people around the world have a desire to visit our blessed archipelago," she added.
Based on the DOT 2016 Visitors Sample Survey, 51.80 percent of tourists visit the Philippines upon their friend’s recommendation, while 14.10 percent have friends or relatives in the country.
The Department of Foreign affairs listed 9.1 million Filipinos overseas in 2015 and that number continues to grow.
"Now we invite you to share. Share your experience, share your joy. It is now easier than ever to use media as a tool for sharing and meeting new people, but the heart of friendship is still trust, based on sincerity and genuine concern. This is where Filipinos thrive and we at the DOT would like to give the ample recognition. Bring them home, and Bring Home a Friend," she said.
The contest, which runs from October 15, 2017 to April 15, 2018, allows Filipinos residing here and abroad as well as expatriates based in the Philippines to win prizes through an electronic raffle for simply inviting their foreign friends to come visit the Philippines.
The DOT views the program to empowering the people which is the core strength of our tourism campaign.
It’s more than bringing friends and family back home, since it is a shout out to the world to come and see the Philippines. Prizes to be won for “sponsors” (Filipinos inviting foreign friends) include an Eastwood Le Grand Tower studio condo unit (first prize), an orange metallic Toyota Vios 2017 Model (second prize), or 200,000 pesos worth of gift certificates from Duty Free (third prize).
Meanwhile, prizes for “invitees” (foreign friends visiting the Philippines) include two roundtrip international business class tickets plus two roundtrip domestic tickets to Palawan (first prize), two roundtrip international premium economy tickets plus two roundtrip domestic tickets to Cebu (second prize), and two roundtrip international economy tickets plus two roundtrip domestic tickets to Davao (third prize).
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on November 15, 2017.
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