By Joey Natividad
NAGA CITY (BicolToday.com/1-June -12) – A concerned Fil-American reader scored on the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) for taking the wrong tourism marketing strategy in attracting Americans to spend vacation in the Philippines where there is “more fun”, but, in reality Fil-Americans would want to visit a country that is not plagued by poverty.
Daniel Escurel Occeno said, by letter emailed to BicolToday.com, Filipino-Americans would want to visit a country ending the poverty, and that American Catholics are the ones known for wanting to travel or vacation.
“I suggest that the (tourism) target marketing should be directed toward Filipino-Americans with children going to private Catholic schools in areas like Pittsburgh, Detroit suburbs, Chicago area and the Bay City area of San Francisco and Oakland and San Jose,” said Occeno.
Possibly, with dry humour, Occeno suggested places to visit (in the Philippines) are malls and hotels as tourism sites, and not the usual, common scenic spots and Filipino ethnic festivals being peddled out by the country’s international tourism promotion campaigns.
“I would promote historical hotels like the Manila Hotel and the Manila Ocean Park and from the Manila Hotel only a fifteen minute ride to SM MALL of ASIA, one of the largest malls in the world,” said Occeno. “The Makati Shangri-La hotel with the international selections of stores and restaurants would be another good promotional suggestion along with, located at the heart of business centers in Metro Manila is, The Sulô Riviera Hotel in Quezon City.”
He added: “Metro CEBU and what it offers is another suggestion. If you need a place to stay, how about staying at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino?
Do not forget about the ‘City in Bloom’ – Davao, a modern city in Southern Mindanao, Philippines. You can stay at the Marco Polo Davao Hotel. Better save a year’s salary.”
But, he lamented that a criticism of the Philippines is that the Republic does not have emerging markets to help end the poverty. “Never mind that FORBES Magazine listed 11 billionaires in American dollars and one “half-a-billionaire” did not exist on December 2, 2004; but I have been to Bacolod City. My parents and I stayed at the L’Fisher Hotel – Bacolod. The municipality has tremendous promise for growth and development.”
He admitted that Bacolod City is known for the popular Masskara Festival (The Mask Festival in English), which takes place Oct. 1-20. The growth is in sports tourism and a new airport – Bacolod-Silay International Airport.
“Summer vacation has started for most of the children in America and classes will not go back until the middle of August for high school football practice and fall boys and girls sports teams with actual school starting right before Labor Day or after on September. The American Catholics are the ones known for wanting to travel or vacation and the Filipino-Americans would want to visit a country ending the poverty,” he said. [BicolToday.com]
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