There's no contesting that amid the government agencies, the Department of Tourism (DoT) is among those that have seen the most visible developments in the past year. With a definite focus on launching new campaigns, a slew of fresh commercials released, and secretary Berna Romulo Puyat hard at work promoting the country's natural and manmade wonders, the DoT has had a record-breaking year and has the numbers to back it up.
Judging from the data prepared on the agency's official website, the overall number of foreign visitors in the country has increased in the months of January and July when juxtaposed with the numbers from 2018.
Local Tourism's Virtual Address
While we're down to the last few months of 2019, the Department of Tourism is ending the year strong with the launch of a new website under the domain www.philippines.travel. Launched on October 15 at HUB: Make Lab in Escolta, the revamped website aims to be a one-stop platform for the many travelers looking to explore the country's 7,641 islands.
"We have made the website very inclusive as we recognize the value of our private sector's involvement and support in this. This is one of the many efforts we are doing to encourage tourist establishments to go through our accreditation process in order to provide better service to our tourists," says Sec. Berna Romulo Puyat.
Right now, the website is on its beta testing phase. Once finalized, one of its unique features is that it will give visitors the opportunity to directly book a tour or an experience via an extensive library of accredited tour operators and establishments. This function is in partnership with website Guide to the Philippines, a travel booking platform that not only offers hundreds of popular packages in renowned tourist spots, but also excursions and experiences in lesser-known destinations.
The easy-to-navigate format features three main sections: See and Do, Where to Go, and Events and Festivals. While the last two sections are self-explanatory, the See and Do tab is categorized into six sub-sections, depending on the visitor's interests: Dive, Nature, Sun and Beach, Adventure, Food and Hospitality, and Events and Culture.
Marketing the Country Through Film
On the same day, the DoT also reiterated a collaboration with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), in which both groups are working to attract more local and international filmmakers to use the country's various scenic spots as filming locations. The program, which is straightforwardly named Let's Create Together, will offer two incentive options for foreign producers, given that they partner with accredited Philippine-based producers. The two incentives, the Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP) and the International Co-Production Fund (ICOF), may apply only to projects with local production costs of at least P8 million and, if approved, may offer a rebate of as much as P10 million. Interested producers may apply on filmphilippines.com beginning on January 1, 2020.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountry.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.