DOT unveils new campaign for Visit PH Year 2015

By Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo, Special to ABS-CBNNews.com

Posted at Sep 04 2014 08:09 PM | Updated as of Sep 05 2014 08:23 PM

Tourism Promotions Board chief operating officer Domingo Ramon Enerio III (top) unveils a new AVP showing the numerous 'fun' activities tourists can enjoy in the Philippines. The AVP is part of the agency's marketing campaign for Visit Philippines Year 2015. Photos by Stella Arnaldo via PicStitch

MANILA -- With the aim of attracting some 8.2 million visitors in 2015, the Department of Tourism (DOT), through its marketing arm, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), unveiled on Thursday its new campaign for Visit Philippines Year 2015 (VPY2015).

Speaking before foreign travel buyers who will be participating in the 25th Philippine Travel Mart this weekend at the SMX Convention Center, DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. stressed that “tourism isn’t about the numbers, it is a performance. And thus this is dependent on our people. Our beautiful sights are just mere backdrops to the performance. Performance is the ability to turn strangers into friends, sights into memories, and adventures into unforgettable experiences.”

The DOT is banking on the private tourism stakeholders to participate in the campaign and go all out in encouraging visitors to the Philippines next year.

“VPY2015 will feature a calendar of events and activities that are an exciting mix of all the outstanding work of the Filipino people in painting and the graphic arts, cinema, performance art to include music, dance and theater arts, as well as the unveiling of many more historic treasures, natural wonders and unforgettable adventures,” said Jimenez.

For his part, TPB chief operating officer Domingo Ramon Enerio III said major activities to gear up for during VPY2015 include the Papal Visit in January, the year-long Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial and senior officials meetings which will culminate in the Leaders Summit in November, as well as festivals like the Ati-Atihan, the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, the Philippine International Pyromusical Competition, and sporting events like the Iron Man and Xterra Triathlons, CWC International Wakeboarding Competition, and the Mount Apo Boulder Face Challenge.

During APEC, the Philippines “plays host to some 25,000 international visitors, culminating in the Leaders’ Summit in November. With these major meets, the Philippines once again bursts into the limelight, reclaiming its place as one of top MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) destinations in the world,” he added.

A major culinary event also comes to Manila as it hosts the very first Madrid Fusion-Manila in April 2015.

“Madrid Fusión is the single, most important conference for culinary in the 21st century. It is where the world goes to see the future of food. We are very excited to welcome people who are interested in food from Asia, primarily from Asean, and from the rest of the world to visit the Philippines in 2015. The whole concept behind Madrid Fusion is to gather the best in culinary arts and get them to share their knowledge. We believe in the Philippines’ potential to further grow as a center of culinary excellence in Asia, and Madrid Fusion will help amplify that,” said Jimenez.

Madrid Fusión has established itself as one of the leading international gastronomy gatherings held annually in Madrid and attended by elite chefs and experts in the culinary field to discuss trends, evolution of tastes, and new food habits. More than 400 leading chefs from all five continents have graced its stage and performed live culinary demonstrations and memorable presentations on revolutionary techniques.

Among the featured chefs were: Grant Achatz, Gaston Acurio, Ferran Adria, Juan Mari Arzak, Alex Atala, Nobu Matsuhisa, Heston Blumenthal, Michel Brass, Paul Bocuse, Quique Dacosta, Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon, and Michel Troisgros.

Enerio also introduced an audio-visual presentation (AVP) showing the many ways foreigners can enjoy the Philippines, and announced a micro-site where tourism stakeholders can sign up and help in the marketing campaign of VPY2015. The AVP will be shown in travel fairs abroad and posted on social networking sites.

“We will need all of you in attendance today to make this campaign a success,” he pleaded to Thursday’s luncheon participants. Aside from foreign travel buyers, there were local tourism stakeholders from travel agencies, hotels and resorts, as well as tour operators.

All tourism stakeholders are encouraged to click on phl2015.itsmorefuninthephilippines.com to register and promote their activities to an international audience.

“The microsite serves as directory to everything the Philippines has to offer, especially for VPY2015,” said the TPB chief.