MANILA, Philippines - Over 400 Filipino-Americans arrived in the country yesterday to take part in an organized tour.
Among them are the 10 Filipino Young Professionals in America, who were selected by the Philippine consulates in the US to participate in the two-week 7th Ambassador/Consulate Generals/Tourism Directors program.
The program is a joint undertaking of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). It has been effective in luring Filipino-Americans to visit the country. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Philippine consuls in the US conceptualized the project when he was the ambassador to Washington.
“It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” the DOT’s new campaign slogan, supports the program of activities.
The organized tour includes a visit to Malacañang Palace and courtesy call on President Aquino. The group will also join a roundtable discussion on Philippine history, culture and current socio-economic and political situation with chosen experts and local government officials.
Organizers of the event included an immersion program, a segment called “Heroes on the Ground” during which they would have the opportunity to meet with the implementers of development initiatives and advocacies on education, entrepreneurship, environment and community, including Kariton Klasrum, Gawad Kalinga and 57-75 Movement.
The group will also visit Boracay, Palawan, Cebu and Bohol.
Tourism industry officials said the new country brand It’s More Fun in the Philippines is a big help in promoting local tourism and encouraging Filipino-Americans abroad to come to the Philippines.
Officials said tourist arrivals from all major markets particularly North America and Korea have posted growth since the DOT came out with the slogan early this year.