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A milestone year for TPB |

Travel and Tourism

A milestone year for TPB

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, the marketing and promotions arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), had a banner year in its intensified efforts to retain the Philippines as a major destination for global travelers.

In 2019, the country regis­tered a total of 6,800,052 visi­tors from January to October, marking a 15 percent growth in tourist arrivals from the same period the year before.

TPB’s various operating units – International Promo­tions, Domestic Promotions, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions/ Events) and Marketing Com­munications – continued their aggressive push to promote top destinations like Boracay, Palawan, Bohol and Siargao through on-ground activities, global media exposure and increased digital presence. New programs, on the other hand, were adopted to de­velop upcoming destinations in Pampanga, Southern Cebu, Samar, Aklan and BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao).

Key international promo­tional activities included par­ticipation in top travel trade events such as the World Travel Market (WTM) in Lon­don, ITB Berlin, ASEAN Tour­ism Forum and Korea Travel Fair; dive expos like Malay­sia International Dive Expo, Asia Dive Expo in Singapore and Beijing and OZTEK Dive Conference and Exhibition in Australia.

Year-round familiarization tours and business missions were organized to strengthen key markets like Korea, China and Japan, and to tap high-spend markets like Europe, United Arab Emirates and India.

TPB also strengthened the country’s presence in the MICE space, surpassing its targets in generating leads through participation in key global MICE trade shows, like the IMEX Frankfurt and IMEX America, International Travel and Conventions Meetings in China and International Trav­el and Conventions Meetings Asia in Thailand.

Moreover, the agency as­sisted in the country’s suc­cessful bids to host the Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Annual General Meeting, International Con­gress of the Fragile Eco-sys­tems and Eco Tourism Travel Mart in 2020 and 2021.

Meanwhile, domestic tour­ism was stimulated by orga­nizing and participating in major travel fairs such as the Philippine Travel Mart, NAI­TAS Travel and Trade Show, Philippine Harvest Expos and Regional Travel Fairs in Clark, Pampanga and Cagayan de Oro City.

TPB adopted a marketing approach focusing on psy­chographics or motivation for people to travel with demo­graphics that focus on nation­ality, age, income and propen­sity to travel. Thus in 2019, TPB’s marketing and promo­tions centered on “people’s interest.”

“Our marketing approach for 2019 focused on ‘people interest,’ shifting from hard sell to soft power marketing,” said TPB chief operating of­ficer Marie Venus Tan. “The Philippines is rich in distinct assets like culture, gastron­omy and, more important­ly, the Filipino people who make each visit to the coun­try unique, memorable and worth coming back for.”

All strategic programs for 2019 were anchored on the theme of responsible and sus­tainable tourism – “a balance between business opportuni­ties and our social responsibili­ties”– spearheaded by DOT.

TPB conducted marketing educational seminars across the country to provide regional tourism officers, officials from local government units and private sector tourism repre­sentatives the necessary guid­ance and active mentoring on the proper marketing of the tourism attractions of a par­ticular region or province. It also put in place programs to identify, preserve and promote sustainable tourism sites and supported industries offering sustainable tourism products through inclusion in marketing and promotional activities.

Moreover, TPB successfully maintained its ISO 9001:2015 certification through its re­doubled effort to improve continuously its management systems. It made remarkable improvements in its existing processes for design, develop­ment and provision of Philip­pine tourism marketing and promotions.

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