Friday, March 26, 2010

Good News For A Change: BBC Fast Track Visits Cebu

My Florida-based cousin Bitoy (who is an accomplished photographer- check out his blog & portfolio here aside from being a top notch medical technologist) posted a recent BBC video on Philippine tourism link on his Facebook profile. You can view the video by clicking on the photo below(sorry no embed feature):


Though the video exclusively showcases Cebu, I believe we should have more of these features and information to promote other exciting destinations. As one American expat resort operator said, we need more publicity not more ads to counter the usual negative stories circulating about the Philippines. Tourism Secretary Ace Durano (incidentally a Cebuano himself) also revealed a basic marketing tactic to draw more tourists: focus more on the destination than the country itself. The Philippines seems to have a bad rep that it smarter to promote Bohol or Cam Sur as a stand alone product. Cebu has been very successful with that tactic during the late 1980s to the early 1990s where its tagline was: Cebu - an island in the Pacific. It's was an ingenious marketing move, to position the destination away from the negative publicity especially during that time when coups, disasters, typhoons and violence were synonymous with the Philippines.

Ultimately, in the age of web 2.0 its not the ads that will draw people to come and visit but its the stories, user experiences and other media shared by people who are happy and satisfied with what they have seen and tried. The government should capitalize on social media to spread the word by mouth...or in this case by Facebook, Twitter and other tools.

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