By Hanah Tabios
Filipino travelers are being encouraged to share their pre-pandemic travel photos and videos on social media, as the country jumpstarts domestic travel, according to tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
A #PinasMuna social media campaign was initiated by one of the country’s largest business organizations, to stimulate the growth of domestic consumption and encourage patronage of the country’s local products.
During the Laging Handa public briefing on Thursday, June 25, Puyat stressed that a huge chunk of tourism’s share in the country’s 2019 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came from domestic travel, not from the foreign tourist arrivals, contrary to popular notion.
“What’s interesting is 12.7 percent of the GDP is from tourism. But 10.8 percent of it, came from domestic tourism,” she said.
In a separate message, she also told the Manila Bulletin that even when the Department of Tourism (DOT) launched the refreshed promotional campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” social media postings of local travelers played a big part in their marketing effort.
“It paid off as 2019 was our best year ever in terms of revenue from foreign and local visitors,” she added, citing the recent government-released data.
According to PSA, domestic tourism, which represents 22 percent of the household final consumption expenditure, expanded by 10.4 percent from P2.85 trillion in 2018 to P3.14 trillion in 2019.
She said the DOT has also been continuously producing promotional plugs, titled “Wake Up in the Philippines,” to help the industry recover from its massive losses, even before the massive shutdown of borders, where all forms of leisure travel have been suspended.