Monday, April 4, 2011

Digital Filipino: Marketing Philippines Travel Online

Last March 30's episode of Digital Filipino Talks was on Marketing Philippines Travel Online. This episode focuses on the trends of online booking, great tourist destinations in the Philippines and some tips that can help prevent online fraud.

Marketing Philippines Travel Online
from Janette Toral on Vimeo.

Interviewed for this episode is Mr. Russell Ri, head of e-Philippines Adventure Travel and Destinations.

Booming Philippine Tourism

In this interview, Mr. Ri said that tourism in the Philippines has increased not only from foreign the tourists but from the local as well. He mentioned that most Filipinos want to travel to other places to look for a different adventure.

To make tourism more attractive, some are packaged with adventure travels. Activities like these include sky diving, wake boarding, surf boarding, etc. While there are few Filipinos who look for hard adventures, majority would like to have soft adventures like the zip line or sight seeing.

Tourist Destinations in the Philippines

In this interview, Mr. Ri mentioned some great tourist destinations that tourists, foreign or local may consider checking out. Some of these include 1) Bohol, where one can experience beaches with less people, the tarsiers and Chocolate Hills. 2) Boracay, where the island-beach is lively and party going, and 3) either Coron or Puerto Princesa, where one can experience island hopping, and the famous underwater cave networks.

On online fraud when booking

Although Mr. Ri admits there is not much control when it comes to booking online because there are some who do not secure any accreditation yet do their business online. But he did give tips to avoid fraud, such us doing your research on where to go and what to do, and find a suitable travel agency that can fulfill your travel needs.

Partnering with travel agencies

Mr. Ri gave some advice to those small travel oriented businesses who offer individual services like hotel accommodations, to partner with travel agencies for better marketing online. He mentioned that these small establishments may try to contact travel agencies so that they can bundle their services along with the travel package they will offer to those interested to book with them.

My view on Philippine Tourism

Philippine tourism is a great way for our country to earn additional revenue. It may be a great substitute to mining. Although it can also boost revenue for our country, there will also be the issue (just like mining) on the destruction of our environment in general.

Tourism and the environment

Since there are a lot of climate change catastrophes happening recently, we should be more aware of our actions and that it can do to our environment. And tourism, as innocent-sounding as it seems, is one of them.

Most of us would think that tourism will in no way harm the environment, specially when compared to mining. But some tourists do not really care if their actions can spoil the beauty of our land. The most common of their actions is littering. Throwing or leaving stuff behind as they go.

Furthermore, it is a lot of us Filipinos who are undisciplined when throwing away waste. Whenever there is a fiesta or big gathering, most of us simply leave our empty plastic bottles or food wrappers in the streets, or on the beach, hoping someone else will clean up for us. Sad but true.

My advise is that tourists, specially the Pinoy tourists should make sure that as they leave what they have visited, they leave nothing behind in the open - specially trash.

On Timing Bookings

Marketing our tourist destinations online definitely attracts visitors from all over the world. But there are times tourists will find it hard to book their travels. Those are during the big fiestas or celebrations in the Philippines. The Sinulog festival in Cebu and the Ati-Atihan festivals in the Visayas are one of the most colorful fiestas in the Philippines. Because of its popularity, a lot will try to book their travels near the date of the event.

Since Mr. Ri did not mention timing of booking online, I advise travelers to book earlier than usual for big events. If you book too soon, you will find out that you might not get any accommodations left. I heard that some even book 6 months before the event to make sure they get a reservation.

On online fraud

There are other sound tips that can help minimize becoming a victim of online fraud. One is to ask your friends what online site they used to book their travels. As long as they used the service without hassle, you're pretty sure you won't go wrong. Another sound advise would be to book with agencies with some form of accreditation. This can act as a reference that the business you are going to book with is legitimate.

To sum it up, touring the Philippines is a great activity specially during the summer season. But to make our travel fun, worry-free and Earth-friendly, one should book early, book at trusted online sites and make sure you don't mess up the place on your visit. We only have one Philippines we can present to the world, so we should take care of it.

Happy traveling! :)

This is my entry to's Talks Blog Contest. Be part of the conversation. Visit the contest page to join. Feel free to comment on my blog post about Marketing Philippines Travel Online.

blog comments powered by Disqus