DOT pushes familiarization tour for Chinese media, travel agents

By Lily O. Ramos

MANILA, Sept. 12 (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism under new Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. has embarked on a campaign to meet the growing demand of Chinese tourists by organizing 13 current and future familiarization tours with various media from China and travel agent groups until November.

China, which is now called East Asian giant, is the Philippines' fourth largest foreign tourist market with 187,446 travellers out of record 3.52 million arrivals in 2010.
 

The DOT recorded 105,423 Chinese tourists between January to June 2011, a 16.85 percent increase from the same period in 2010.

"China remains one of our core markets and we are greatly encouraged by consistent double-digit growth in terms of arrivals.

"Although media invitationals comprise only a small slice of our marketing budget, we are keen on maximizing the chance to address the huge Chinese market through their media," said Tourism Undersecretary for Planning and Promotions Daniel G. Corpuz.

Completed tours last July include Coron, Palawan for Voyage Magazine with Chinese actress Hao Lie and in Manila and Cebu for men.sohu.com, the top men's website in China.

Other media groups from cities of Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chengdu, as well as travel agents from Shanghai and Chengdu were brought to Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Clark and Subic last August.

Through the efforts of the Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) 2011 event, tour groups from Shanghai and South China have made rounds in Palawan in August and September while a third from Dalian City will go to Boracay.

Media from Beijing are also scheduled to visit Davao and Puerto Princesa in the latter part of this year.

A separate group will be flown by Air Philippines to Boracay as part of its Beijing-Kalibo charter launch in September.

Other charters to run until the end of 2011 include Zest Air's Shanghai-Kalibo and Air Philippines' Shanghai_cebu services.

Additional Shanghai-Clark charter services was launched in August and will run until February 2012. Major Philippine carriers fly regularly to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen from Manila.

The DOT said that, in China, Philippine destinations are set to be featured on train exterior ads in Nanjing city where sticker posters covering two trains with three coaches each will be visible to an estimated one to two million commuters daily. (PNA)
DCT/LOR