The Department of Tourism (DOT) has launched the More Fun Awaits campaign to strengthen the Philippines’ positioning as a top-of-mind tourist destination in the global market once international leisure travel to the country resumes.
More Fun Awaits showcases the preparations that the DOT has been carrying out while tourism has been put on hold because of the pandemic.
The campaign is focused on communicating destinations to visit, starting with those that have been ready to welcome local tourists and have minimum health and safety protocols in place.
“The More Fun Awaits campaign will sustain the presence of the Philippines as a tourist destination amidst the pandemic, while getting foreign travelers excited for what’s in store for them once borders for tourism reopen,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a news release on Friday.
It also includes new tourism products and circuits that have been developed by the DOT, in coordination with private sector tourism stakeholders and various local government units (LGUs), based on travelers’ preferences in the new normal.
Aside from the sun and beach tourist destinations that the country is well-known for, the campaign puts a spotlight on new and enhanced bike tours, dive circuits, farm and food tourism circuits, hiking and trekking, and outdoor museums through historical and cultural tours, among others. These cater to tourists’ new normal preference for outdoor activities and well-ventilated areas.
The campaign is supported by www.morefunawaits.com, a newly launched website by the DOT that contains videos of breathtaking sceneries around the country, travel articles, and infographics to entice tourists to consider the Philippines as their next travel destination in Asia once travel restrictions have been lifted.
It will also feature a crowd-sourced campaign that invites Filipinos to become tour guides of their hometown, either by posting their own virtual tours on social media, or sharing their own photos of their recommended destinations, activities, or dishes.
Posts must include the hashtag #MoreFunAwaits and those selected will be shared in the social media pages of the DOT.
At the heart of the campaign are stories about tourism workers and advocates who have contributed to the recovery of the industry, which can be found on the More Fun Awaits website and the DOT’s social media platforms.
These stories emphasize the need to remind both local and foreign tourists that tourism is not just the act of travel, it is also about livelihood and supporting the lives affected by the pandemic.
“Travel is more than just a personal experience. The heart of tourism are the workers and the communities who make the experience possible,” Puyat said.
WTTC global summit
In communicating that the country has been preparing to welcome international visitors, Puyat said the More Fun Awaits campaign would help boost the anticipation of the Philippines’ hosting of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit.
Through the campaign, the DOT can share its ongoing efforts for current global concerns on health and safety, environmental sustainability, and local community engagement in tourist destinations—issues that are likely to be at the core of discussions at the Global Summit.
“Through the More Fun Awaits campaign, we want to communicate that the Philippines prioritizes the safety and well-being of visitors, as many of our tourism establishments are compliant with global safety standards, and a large percentage of our tourism workers are already vaccinated,” Puyat said.
As of Sept. 14, the DOT has issued the WTTC Safe Travel Stamp to three local tourism destinations—Baguio City, Boracay Island, and Ilocos Norte—and 200 DOT-accredited accommodation establishments nationwide.
The WTTC Safe Travel Stamp is the world’s first safety and hygiene stamp for travelers to recognize governments and businesses that have adopted global health standardized protocols.
Meanwhile, the inoculation of tourism workers is ongoing in different parts of the country, especially in major tourism areas, including the National Capital Region where 99 percent of tourism workers in DOT-accredited hotels and accommodation establishments, as well as 94 percent of tourism workers in accredited restaurants have had their coronavirus jabs.
Nationwide, 51 percent of tourism workers have been vaccinated.
“We are optimistic that the More Fun Awaits campaign, and all our efforts since the pandemic started, will be sustained as the tourism industry recovers under safe conditions,” Puyat said. (PNA)