Tourism dep’t to revive local destination media blitz

Posted at 02/19/11 5:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Tourism will revive a media campaign promoting local destinations as it aims to further strengthen the domestic tourism market.

Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim said the campaign, called "Pilipinas, Tara Na (Philippines, Let’s Go)" will take off from where the old campaign, known as "Tara Na, Biyahe Tayo (Come, Let’s Travel)," left off.

He expected the campaign to help increase domestic tourism to 25 million tourists this year, two million higher than last year’s official figures.

"It will be a mass media campaign. We hope to invite young stars such as [singer] Charice, to grace the campaign," Mr. Lim told reporters at the sidelines of opening of the 18th TravelTour Expo 2011 on Friday.

He clarified that the campaign is not related to the botched "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" slogan, which was ditched by the department last year which drew flak from many sectors, including none other than President Benigno S. C. Aquino III himself.

"We’re not doing a re-branding here. This is not for the international market, but more for the domestic tourism market," Mr. Lim said.

The campaign will promote so-called priority tourism destinations, namely, the "Central Philippines" which groups Palawan, Boracay, Bohol and the Bicol Region.

"We will also push for the Ilocos [Region], the Cordilleras, Cagayan de Oro and Davao," he added.

The campaign seeks to strengthen the department’s program -- launched just last month -- that promotes local festivities nationwide.

Mr. Lim said funding for the campaign will come from partnerships and sponsorships with the private sector.

"We hope to launch this formally by March or April" he said.