Bad news gets ratings. Sensationalism gets ratings. Blood and gore gets ratings. Scandal gets ratings. Ridicule gets ratings.
Nonoying is hot. Chief Justice Corona is hot. China the bully is hot. "It's More Fun in the Philippines" is hot.
Wait a sec.
Did I say ridicule gets ratings?
What happens when ridicule gets turned around, and the people doing the ridicule are the ones sneaking off and hoping no one notices them.
People were quick to make jokes about the Department of Tourism slogan. Well, it is just so easy to do. I did it. You probably did it. The slogan is funny if applied to any failing in the Philippines, like poverty or overloaded vehicles or mangy dogs . . . or whatever. Sarcasm and satire never had it so good.
But check this out. The Department of Tourism is getting bold. Organized. Imaginative. Progressive. COMPETITIVE. I extracted this information from a recent article in eTN Global Travel Industry News.
- The Philippine "visa free" period is being extended from 21 to 30 days. Do you realize what that does? Many visitors will stay longer and spend more. Like almost 40% more, upper end. Brilliant. Simple.
- Retirees can stay 6 months on a visa, up from 3 months. They have the time baby, they have the money; encourage them to stay.
- The Common Carrier Tax and Visa and Immigration Quarantine programs, non-productive headaches, are being killed. It is a part of the program to clean up other government agency programs that impede progress toward tourism goals. We are all in this together.
- 20 billion pesos is being dedicated to airport improvements.
- The current push that we are ALL in the tourism business is being emphasized in simple but important steps. Like making sure private CR's are open to the public (Jolliebee, McDonalds, convenience stores, and the like).
- The Tourism Plan will go to President Aquino soon. It focuses attention, energy and money on 21 designated sites. No longer will resources be shot across the Philippines in random style. Real improvement is the goal.
- The program also identifies 9 tourism product categories. These are nature; culture; sand and beach; cruise; meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions; health and wellness; marine, entertainment; and education. This focuses the mind on real achievement in these important areas.
This is the kind of organization, planning and focus you rarely see in the Philippines. Achievement oriented. Creative. Exciting.
January and February tourism visits are at record highs.
The Tourism Secretary is Mr. Ramon R. Jimenez, a former advertising executive.
I think it is time we talked about him and his programs instead of a judge who is not doing much for the Philippines right now. Maybe we can take up his call and figure out what WE as individuals who are interested in the well-being of the Philippines can do to help out. Like put trash in trash bin, if nothing else.
Nice start, Mr. Jimenez. Keep up the fine work.
Great selection on that slogan, too! I liked it from the getgo!