How to continue riding Miss U’s tourism gains
Maxine Medina may not have won the most coveted crown “in the universe,” but the Philippines was a “runaway winner” for hosting the 65th Miss Universe pageant in the country.
This was the statement made by Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo after the competition and echoed by tourism stakeholders in Cebu.
Catalino Chan III, Department of Tourism Central Visayas (DOT-7) director, said the 85 other candidates who visited the country can be the living witnesses of the genuine hospitality of the Filipinos.
“The food, mangoes, beaches, sites and sounds, cultures, arts and crafts. They can be good promoters of our country,” he told Cebu Daily News.
For Chan, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach should remain as the Philippines’ ambassador of goodwill and continue to promote the country to the rest of the world.
Cebu Association of Tour Operators (CATO) president Edilberto Mendoza, meanwhile, said the pageant was just a door leading to more opportunities for the Philippines.
“The world has seen the Philippines like they’ve never seen before,” he said.
Mendoza added that to sustain the gains brought by the international exposure, the next thing that should be done is to create more tourist-friendly programs to continuously attract visitors from all over the world.
Added to that is the improvement of peace and order situation as well as tourism infrastructure projects, he said.
Cebu Provincial Tourism Officer Joselito Costas said that social media promotion should be sustained and that it should as well be boosted in emerging markets.
“The destinations visited by the Miss U candidates must be also be promoted as they had maximum exposure during the event,” he added.
To do this, marketing through online presence should be strengthened through the “look to book” concept — from looking at the sites promoted during the Miss U on TV, it should now be translated to booking a flight to or hotel in the Philippines.
Costas said this would be a great challenge to the Philippine government, DOT, and inbound travel agencies and tour operators, as well as airline companies and hotels.
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