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Will the DOT's allocation of P100 million for Facebook, Twitter and other new media campaigns help boost tourist arrivals?

Dennis Montealto, Mandaluyong City: If doing so would rake in P1 billion or more in investments and tourist arrivals, then let’s get on with it.

Amor Maclang, Manila: Sorry, but I think a tourism campaign using new media shouldn’t cost that much. Someone’s making a killing.

Why such a huge budget?

Nestor Chan, Metro Manila: A tourism campaign through the Internet is one way of boosting tourist arrivals. These promotions should make it a point to stress that the Philippines is a safe place to visit. But my question is: Why is the budget for this project so huge?

Raymar Gurrea, Bacolod City: Such an amount is quite too big to spend on Twitter, Facebook and other online media campaign. The DOT has to see to it first that our tourism facilities are at par with those of other countries.

Too much

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Moises Montemayor, Metro Manila: Ganoon na ba kamahal ang mag-maintain ng FB account or website?

Allan Wein Barbara, Pangasinan: Libre lang naman ang Facebook ah. Grabe namang corruption ’yan.

Roger Solano, Metro Manila: Why does the DOT need a P100-million budget for this project? The use of Facebook and Twitter are free of charge. This is another way to steal public funds.

Ed Alawi, Davao City: Yes, the Department of Tourism needs to spend money to advertise our tourist destinations through new media. The P100 million allocation is okay, so long as it will not be corrupted. 

Word of mouth

Jimmy Donton, Palawan: Technology helps, but the tourists’ experience in their destinations should matter most. ‘Word of mouth’ can make or break the tourism industry of a country. We also need to improve services and educate the local folk about good manners, right conduct and decency.

R. Los Baños, Las Piñas City: These media campaigns can help but no amount of advertising can convince tourists to come if what we offer are crumbling infrastructure, poor tourist facilities and a chaotic environment. We have to improve first on these factors. What counts more are the impressions of tourist who come – they will be the bearers of good or bad news about us when they go home.

Robert Young Jr., San Juan: A P100-million allocation for Facebook, Twitter and other media campaigns will definitely help but the best campaign is still through word of mouth. Nothing beats satisfied tourists telling their friends about their adventures in particular places. We need to improve the cleanliness in our tourists attractions and ensure the safety of tourists to attract more tourists.

OFWs as ambassadors of goodwill

Armando Tavera, Las Piñas City: If we really want more tourists to come to our country, our OFWs can serve as ambassadors of goodwill with the help of a trimedia (radio, TV and print) campaign.

In due time

Jose Fabello Jr., Cagayan de Oro City: The tourism industry was greatly affected by the Aug. 23 hostage crisis staged by a mad man. However, spending millions on media campaign to boost tourist arrivals now will only be a waste of funds. Time heals all wounds, so wait for about a year then spend on government promotional campaigns.

Pedro Alagano Sr., Vigan City: Even a billion peso-worth of media blitz can’t easily erase the Aug. 23 hostage fiasco in the minds of tourists at this point in time. The fund should instead be used to upgrade tourism facilities and for the maintenance of clean and serene tourist spots. In due time, I think the tourism sector will recover and be able to recoup all its losses.

Enough allocation

Carmela Ramento, Cagayan de Oro City: Yes, we should be ready to welcome the influx of many tourists from all over the globe as the amount is more than enough for new media campaigns.

Hindrance to objectives

Alexander Raquepo, Ilocos Sur: Yes, this kind of investment will be beneficial to the whole tourism industry including the so-called “underground economy”. My only fear is the kind of bureaucracy that we have, which might become an obstacle in obtaining the objectives of this project.

Will the money be used wisely?

Adam Belen, Metro Manila: Well I guess, yes, it will help in promoting tourist spots/destinations here in the Philippines. But the more important question is: “Will they use the money wisely and really spend it for the project?”

Trimedia campaign is the way to go

Larry Parroco, Quezon City: Why not launch a trimedia campaign instead? Print, radio and TV are the most effective means to entice tourists to come here. 

Impractical

Roger Caravana, Bulacan: Under our country’s present financial situation, it is impractical to allocate Pl00 million for the Department of Tourism’s projects to boost tourist arrivals.

Thorough research

Desuel Pardo, Mandaluyong City: Our tourism authorities must have conducted a thorough marketing research to be so confident that the P100-million allocation for new media campaigns on our tourist spots will not go to waste.

Anyone can help

Elmo Cruz, Manila: In this day and age of advanced information technology, even an ordinary Filipino who knows how to communicate through the Internet can help promote Philippine tourism. I believe the P100-million allocation for Facebook, Twitter and other new media campaigns will also boost tourist arrivals as well.

Germi Sison, Cabanatuan City: The P100-million allocation for the promotion of tourism through websites and other new media may come back a hundredfold especially if every Filipino – from the man in the street to the barangay tanods, street sweepers, local officials up to the President – does his or her share in keeping peace and order in the country.

It should go a long way

Dr. Jose Balcanao, Benguet: DOT’s allocation of P100 million for Facebook and other new media campaigns on tourism will help boost tourist arrivals. The fastest way to promote our country as a tourist destination is through electronic communication. Through Facebook, we can show to the world how beautiful and peaceful our country is.

Lolong Rejano, Marinduque: Yes, modern technology will help boost our sleeping tourism industry. The DOT’s allocation of P100 million for online media tourism campaigns will go a long way.

Frances de Aleli Viloria, Ilocos Sur: Perhaps, because in this modern age, technology is very useful in spreading information.

Dan Adviento, Ilocos Sur: Yes, the use of Facebook and other new media to promote scenic spots will certainly boost tourist arrivals. Facebook and the like connect people so it is easier to spread information. As an FB user, once I post something, it can be reposted and reposted. I firmly believe that media is plays a vital role in developing the tourism potential of our country.

Address tourism issues first

Manuel Abejero, Pangasinan: They are planning to repackage a putrefying industry to make it appealing and salable without taking into consideration the cause of the decay.

J.R. Mondonedo Jr., Parañaque City: Yes, this move will help but actually, it’s the impression and the experience of the tourists once they spend their vacation here that should be of utmost importance. So if we’re wondering why Bangkok, Singapore and other countries are doing well in terms of tourism, it’s because wala silang manloloko at mga magnanakaw doon, or if any, only a few isolated cases.

Luisito Vallo, Pangasinan: Unless support infrastructures are built or improved, this form of tourism advertisements or campaigns will be useless. The government should provide the necessary infrastructures that would ensure that the needs of tourists are satisfied. Through this, the government may not even need to spend a single centavo on these new media.

Rey Ibalan, Antipolo City: Sorry, I don’t think it will. What we need is the improvement of our airports, hotels and their facilities, and an efficient transport system.

No risk, no gain

Ruben Viray, Antipolo City: Investment is the key to progress. Tourism alone can bring millions of pesos to boost our economy but it takes guts to make things happen. No risk, no gain and if we don’t want to further bring the tourism level down, I believe this is the right time to experiment. Social networking is one of the most popular ways to make your product known throughout the world and it brings positive results. The DOT’s allocation of P100 million for new media campaigns on tourist spots brings hope to us Filipinos.

Miguelito Herrera, Cabanatuan City: Yes, it will be very effective. When you are trying to attain targets, you always have to consider experimenting like using new techniques such as Facebook and Twitter.

Calculated risk

Elpidio Que, Vigan: I have confidence in Bertie Lim’s marketing competency, and I believe he has untainted integrity. For sure, he has the data of the number of European, Chinese, Korean and Japanese backpackers who tour other Asian countries very year. Lim must have gathered that these people are mainly users of Google, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook. He must have calculated this P100-million risk.

Divide the fund

C.B. Manalastas, Manila: Use the P25 million of the DOT’s allocation for Facebook, Twitter campaigns then spend the P75 million for massive promotions by foreign travel agencies.

Deal with our problems first

Joe Nacilla, Las Piñas City: The DOT can have all Philippine tourist attractions advertised on the Internet but if our problems on peace and order and corruption are not solved, no amount of new media campaign can help boost tourist arrivals.

Felix Ramento, USA: Before embarking on a new media blitz to sell our tourist spots, let’s first set the stage for our tourists so that they will have an enjoyable and unique experience in our country. I believe that our facilities need not be world-class. We should endeavor first to make our environment clean and peaceful if we hope to attract more visitors.

Improve RP’s image

Leandro Tolentino, Batangas City: Such a huge allocation should rather be spent to rebuild the image of our country and not on such lousy and indirect gimmicks.

Deo Durante, Camarines Sur: When selling something, the more important thing is the product. In the case of our country, the safety of tourists should come first. Second, Filipinos should cooperate and do their part in enticing tourists.

Potential tourists

Renato Taylan, Ilocos Norte: Definitely, as Facebook and Twitter users love to connect to people and to travel to places, which make them prospective tourists.

Push tourism via TV

Ishmael Calata, Parañaque City: I am not sure about the usefulness and effectiveness of this kind of media promotion. Is there any basis for such a promotional idea even only empirical results experienced by other countries? For me, the DOT should put instead its money on television campaigns, which pretty much has a wider reach. Compared to our neighbors, our television ads on our tourist attractions are inferior. Furthermore, we should improve peace and order situation, the cleanliness of our surroundings, and the quality of our infrastructures.

Views expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The STAR. The STAR does not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for the views of readers exercising their right to free expression. The publication also reserves the right to edit contributions to this section as it sees fit.

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