If I Were Tourism Secretary

by Sunny Cervantes

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Long term, I would set up an office under the DoT whose sole purpose is the creation, marketing and protection of Brand Philippines. Many countries already do that. The DoT has many departmental concerns to address and the marketing of Brand Philippines is only one of them. Creating and protecting Brand Philippines is a gargantuan task that requires a number of people dedicated only to doing that function.

I’d commission an intensive market research that includes a brand audit. How does the global community view the Philippine brand? Where are we now in their minds? Find answers to all the basic marketing and branding questions that is needed in order to conceptualize a new marketing campaign.

I would review past tourism marketing campaigns. Figure out what worked and what didn’t. Go to my tourism data and analyze it in terms of the current situation. Have a discussion with my boss regarding his tourism vision. Talk to stakeholders and get their visions for their own companies or organizations. That way, when I conceptualize my marketing strategy, I can align it with their visions so that it becomes a win-win reality for everybody.

I’d require an inventory of our tourism assets. What do we have now that tourists can appreciate? What else can we offer them? What are we prepared to offer them? What we have and what we are prepared to offer are 2 different things. We may have a fabulous virgin beach but we might not want tourists trampling through that. If we don’t want to sell it, don’t market it. We don’t have to sell every conceivable tourism asset we have. We just have to choose which brings the most ROI to us.

If we don’t want to sell it, don’t market it.

If we want to offer something new, are we prepared to make the proper investments for it? Is it even profitable to create this new tourism offering? For a time, everyone wanted to construct a wakeboarding facility following CamSur’s success. Why would you even offer that if your area has the Pacific Ocean in front of you? It is a costly endeavor to turn a weakness into strength. Instead, turn what you have into a unique advantage or create a stronger position than your competitors.

I Believe In What Tourism Can Do

by Claire DG. Amador

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“Tourism is not just the physical movement from one place to the next, but a positive shift from one mindset to another. It is also a way of seeing the world and finding your place in it.”

This is a paraphrased thought combined from two authors whose names escape me right now (sorry, Sirs). Usually I start YTRIP* talks with it because it puts things in perspective: tourism is not just an industry, but a way of seeing things. It is about experiencing and living life.

I believe that tourism cuts across all sectors: it is very much economic, social, cultural, and political. It’s the kind of industry where everyone’s a participant. It’s also the kind of activity (for lack of a better term) that would transform (take note, transform and not just change) lives and outlooks and people. It can cause a revolution – it transcends cultures, connects stories, uplifts (or destroys) lives, and best of all, converts people. I use “convert” loosely because I always believe in the way traveling makes people better than they were when they left their bases. I also focus on people because at the end of the day – it is our decisions and actions that define the present and the future, the economy and the countries.

I have always believed that tourism will be the saving grace for the Philippines and it is one of the reasons why I fervently hope the government and the citizenry would give it the attention (and understanding and study) it deserves. A lot of countries and cities are investing so much in tourism – Budapest for instance, has it as its biggest contributor to the economy. Ethiopia is exploring it as its main economic driving force. California, as a state, recognizes it as a primary industry. For us, my question is, do we have what it takes to make tourism our main industry, our driving force? But first, do we want it?

Lorem Ipsum

What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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Where Does It Come From?

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum" (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..", comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum" by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

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