Filipinos encouraged to ‘bring home a friend’

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 is expecting more Cebuanos who are living and working abroad to join the agency’s Bring Home A Friend (BHAF) campaign to boost foreign arrivals to the province and win prizes.

The DOT 7 is scheduled to launch BHAF in Cebu this Dec. 18 at JPark Island Resort & Waterpark.

The agency said it is reviving the BHAF project to make Filipinos aware of their role as positive reinforcers of Philippine tourism and reorient them as Philippine “ambassadors of goodwill”.

“This referral project aims to encourage all Filipinos residing here or abroad and the expatriates living in the Philippines to promote tourism by inviting their foreign friends to come and visit the country,” said the DOT 7, in a statement.

The BHAF launching comes in time for with the onset of the traditionally long Christmas season and with the upcoming month-long Sinulog celebration in Cebu this January.

The program will run for six months from Oct. 15 to April 15.

Cebuano sponsors, who either reside in the country or overseas, stand to win an array of prizes.

Major prizes include a condominium from Megaworld Corp., a brand new Toyota Vios, and a P200,000 gift certificate from Duty-Free Philippines while their foreign guests can win round-trip international tickets and tour packages to Palawan, Cebu, and Davao.

According to the DOT, the number of eligible entries will also depend on the points they earn corresponding to the guest’s country of origin: Asia and Oceania/Australia: two points; Africa, Middle East, Europe, and America: three points.

Other countries with large numbers of Filipinos are Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Italy, and Australia.

Korea remains the top travel source market for Central Visayas.

Arrivals from Korea in the first half of the year show an increase of 2.21 percent to 402,475.

Arrivals from Japan came second, which grew by 2.69 percent. The region welcomed 183,413 Japanese guests from January to June this year.

China posted a high growth of 55.43 percent from 110,069 to 171,082. Arrivals from USA and Australia, however, declined by 4.30 percent and 6.15 percent, respectively. (KOC)
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