While in London, Aquino to pitch ‘more fun in the Philippines’ LONDON (via PLDT) – There will be no city tour for this first-time VIP visitor to London. This will be so for President Benigno Aquino III even if this is the best time to be a tourist here, with the city and the British people all agog over a weekend of historic royal festivities to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II on the throne and frenzied preparations for the 2012 Olympics.
Instead, Aquino, who was not known for his fondness for foreign travel before he became chief executive, will do his share in attracting British tourists to the country’s pristine beaches and famed diving spots. The President and his Cabinet are set to participate in a photo-shoot featuring the London cabs sporting the Department of Tourism’s “It’s More Fun in the Philippines’’ ads as part of his activities during his June 4-6 official visit here. The Department of Foreign Affairs announced that the President’s original schedule would include a tour of the Imperial War Museum and a city tour Tuesday, his first full day here.
But Assistant Secretary for Media Relations Rey Marfil and Jo Paulo Espiritu, director of the Palace Media Accreditation and Relations Division, on Sunday informed reporters covering the President’s visit here that the President had dropped the city tour. They gave no reason for the cancellation. Espiritu said the President only opted to push through with a tour of the Imperial War Museum because of its historical value. The President has been scheduled to arrive here Monday evening (Tuesday morning in Manila), right in the middle of three days of royal festivities to mark the Queen’s 60th year on the throne.
Aquino missed Sunday’s royal river pageant, where the Queen and the rest of the royal family rode a royal barge and some 1,000 vessels sailed along the Thames River. The BBC reported that it was the biggest fluvial parade in London in 300 years and that some 1. 2 million lined up the banks of the Thames to watch, and that this massive show of pageantry for the 82-year-old Queen might not be repeated. On Tuesday night, hordes of British and tourists will be feted to a Diamond Jubilee concert on the grounds of Buckingham Palace and on Wednesday, the Queen will have her appearance at the palace balcony.
But for Aquino, it will all be business. It may be difficult to distract the attention of Londoners at this festive time centering on a beloved Queen and being British, but the Philippine officials are taking advantage of the President’s presence to get the tourism message across. Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Enrique Manalo said the UK, aside from being the Philippine’s largest investor, has also been the country’s biggest tourism market in Europe. More than 100,000 British tourists came to the Philippines in 2011, he said. “What better place to launch our program but to our No. tourist market,’’ Manalo said in an interview by the government’s RTVM. “This is a very important market. The Philippines has much to offer so we are hoping that with his coming here it could further highlight our tourist program,’’ Manalo added.
Richard de Villa, technology and marketing officer, of the DOT office said 40 London cabs have been carrying the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines’’ ads around the streets of London. De Villa, who helped design the ads, said the program has raised awareness for the Philippines as a tourist destination for British and other European tourists. It gets the message across,’’ De Villa said. He said tourist operators have been getting inquiries on the tourist destinations like the Chocolate Hills in Bohol and other spots featured in the ads. As for the 250,000-strong Filipino community in the UK, many of them have participated or volunteered for the Diamond Jubilee activities, Manalo said. “Everybody loves the Queen, she’s an institution and Filipinos are happy to be here. They’re happy to be part of it, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that won’t be repeated in our lifetime.
It’s being part of history and being part of the culture of their adoptive country,’’ Manalo said. Philippines to roll-out ‘more fun’ slogan in Berlin Sunday, March 4, 2012 MANILA — Malacanang said on Sunday that the Philippines will roll-out for the first time its new campaign slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” abroad by participating in the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Germany. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in an interview over dzRB radio station, expressed confidence that Manila’s new tourism slogan could bring in more tourists in the country. We are hoping and we are very confident that the new campaign, ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines,’ will be received well by the international audience,” she said. Valte said that Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. leads the Philippine delegation to Berlin for the international travel festival from March 7 to 11. “The participation of the Department of Tourism is very significant because this will be the first time that we will roll-out the ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines” campaign in a global setting or in a global event,” she said.
She added that the Philippines’ participation in the event is important because many tourists and travel businesses will also join in this kind of festival. The government hopes to achieve 10 million foreign tourists by 2016 from 3. 9 million in 2011. The ITB Berlin is the world’s leading travel trade show where the whole variety of travelling is present: destinations, tour operators, booking systems, carriers, hotels and all other suppliers who want to embellish their customers’ most beautiful weeks of the year. (SDR/Sunnex) National Geographic showcases Phl travel destinations
A six-part series showcasing the travel destinations in the Philippines is coming out in the National Geographic Channel, the government said yesterday. Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said they intend to showcase and promote the country’s different destinations through various international networks. An intensified promotional campaign is essential to lure foreign tourists to the Philippines, he added. In the United Kingdom, 25 double-deck buses and 50 black cabs now sport a uniform design of the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan and logo and different faces of the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.
Subway stations, on the other hand, feature images of the Ifugao rice terraces and the Puerto Princesa Underground River, both proclaimed as World Heritage Sites, the DOT added. Jimenez said the timely execution of the ads has been deliberate and well studied. “Imagine the gross impact of these ads,” he said. Jimenez said London has a population of about 7. 5 million and attracts around 15 million international visitors. “We are generating awareness, not only among the British population, but also among visitors to the United Kingdom, rated number seven among the most visited countries in the world. Jimenez said the two-week advertising campaign in buses and underground railways coincides with the worldwide marketing campaign through CNN International. The campaign through the London cabs will continue until early next year, he added. Jimenez said the campaign would bring the opportunity to capture the millions of visitors attending the Queen’s Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics and the season 2012-2013 of the Fulham Football Club of the English Premier League, estimated to draw 690 million household viewers.
The London cabs come with a 30-minute digital ad which will feature the 30-seconder “It’s more fun in the Philippines” TVC and 15-seconder tarsier TVC recently launched worldwide via network giant CNN, he added. Jimenez said the DOT is the very first national tourism organization to advertise through the taxis’ digital platform and these will be shown in the 1,400 units that Verifone Media owns. We will soon furnish these cabs with flyers to contain more fun information,” he said. Different Philippine posters are also found at strategic stops near London’s tourist areas like Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road. Vertical posters and escalator panels feature the underground river and rice terraces through the memes, “The Underground: More Fun in the Philippines” and “Stairway to Heaven: More Fun in the Philippines. The DOT said the UK is a major tourist market for the Philippines, being the top generator from this region. Last year, it ranked 9th overall with an unprecedented 104,000 arrivals, registering a 7. 78 percent increase over the 2010 performance. Jimenez expressed confidence that the country would be able to lure more tourists from the UK to visit the Philippines through the current publicity efforts and other promotional activities. (Story courtesy of Philippine Star’s Mayen Jaymalin)