P1.2B more needed for ‘It’s More Fun in PH’ campaign

By Estrella Torres, BusinessMirror

Posted at Aug 29 2012 09:31 AM | Updated as of Aug 29 2012 10:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The tourism department is seeking an additional P1.2-billion budget for 2013 on top of its annual budgetary requirement of P1.9 billion next year to fund its global promotion of  “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” branding campaign to lure more tourists and travelers in the Philippines.

Tourism Undersecretary for Promotions Daniel Corpuz said the department will launch the second phase of its branding campaign by October this year that promotes tourism destinations across the country using the traditional media, television, print and radio, as well as the Internet.

The branding campaign project, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” was launched in January this year with a half-a-million budget on top of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) P1.9-billion budget for 2012.

The project aims to lure foreign and local tourists to explore tourism destinations in the country. The campaign initially focused on non-traditional media platforms, such as social media.

The department seeks to increase foreign tourism arrivals from the current 4.8 million to 6 million by 2016.

In an interview, Corpuz expressed hopes that Congress will grant the budgetary request for the global campaign promotions.

He said the initial success of the branding campaign should be pushed through at the global level, “but will require huge funds on top of the usual tourism promotions.”

Corpuz led the launch on Tuesday of the “Icons of Greatness —It’s More Fun in the Philippines” program to engage the Filipino youth in search for heroes and appreciation of events through a tour itinerary-making and poster-making competition.

He also said the tourism department is actively pushing for the improvement of existing airports and establishing of more international airports that will give ease of travel to major tourism destinations in the country.

Among the projects in the pipeline are the expansion of existing airports in Puerto Princesa, as well as the establishment of airports in Laguindingan, which will replace Lumbia airport in Cagayan de Oro; Panglao airport, which will replace the existing Tagbilaran airport; and Daraga airport to replace Legazpi airport in Bicol.

“Our priority is to improve accessibility to various tourism destinations through building and expansion of international and domestic airports,” said Corpuz.

He stressed that it would be futile to lure more foreign tourists to visit the country without improving airports.

“If we don’t have airports, we cannot accommodate them [foreign tourists]. All these programs are part of the tourism convergence programs,” said Corpuz.

He added: “We envision a robust tourism industry as it impacts most sectors of the economy. We need to be aggressively promote our country to compete to other world-class destinations.” (With report from Imelda Abaño)