Working hand in hand with its partner stakeholders – airlines, hotels, and tour operators – the Department of Tourism (DOT) launched several stimulus packages to reinforce its marketing efforts in the US market.
“After several negotiations with tourism sectors, we have created these packages to accommodate the economic environment in the US. And with other international destinations coming up with their own, we made sure that ours have competitive edge that allows tourists to stretch their dollars,” said Tourism Secretary Ace Durano.
The first includes an $899 package in partnership with Philippine Airlines and Rajah Tours, for 2 nights stay in Manila, Boracay, Cebu or Palawan. Departure is from San Francisco or Los Angeles with travel period from August 21 – November 30, 2009. The following hotels, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, EDSA Shangri-la, Crown Plaza, Dusit Hotel, in Manila; Maribago Hotel and Shangri-la Mactan in Cebu; Boracay Regency and Dos Palmas in Palawan, will provide accommodation, some of which will require add-on costs.
For China Airlines and Mango Tours, the package costs $799 for a 3- night stay at Manila Diamond Hotel, with travel period until March 2010.
Two more packages under negotiations are for the West Coast with Asiana Airlines, and for Chicago with Delta Northwest Airlines. Both will be handled by Rajah Tours.
On the promotional aspect of the campaign, Eduardo Jarque, Jr., Tourism Undersecretary for Planning and Promotions shared, “With some of the packages already rolled out, we have drawn up web marketing efforts through email blasts and placements in popular social networking sites. A 30-seconder TV commercial is likewise being aired on the TFC (The Filipino Channel) in our target areas.”
Several studies made on the US travel market revealed that with costs of outbound tours at a down rate, an average of 50% of Americans expressed intent to travel within the US and to other countries, between August 2009 to early next year.