THE PHILIPPINE Department of Tourism (DoT) has decided to try reviving group and FIT traffic from Hong Kong, which plunged in the aftermath of the tour bus hostage incident in Manila a year ago (TTG Asia e-Daily, August 23, 2010).
DoT has appointed JJ Explorer Tours as its marketing representative for Hong Kong and Macau. Former regional director for Tourism Queensland, David Leung, will lead the outfit.
According to Leung, the renewed drive to woo the Hong Kong market will involve fam trips for media, monthly travel trade seminars starting mid-September, as well as a new website.
Leung said: “It’s a good time (after one year) to do something, especially after (the Philippine) government implemented various measures to rebuild tourists’ confidence, such as deploying police to guard key attractions.”
“Apart from traditional leaders, I will be looking for new agents because they may have their own source of clientele.”
Leung added that upcoming destinations like Palawan, Davao and Bohol would be highlighted as part of the initiative. “We will also be pushing FIT packages as the Philippines offers flexibility and convenience with its short flight time,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government has yet to downgrade its black travel warning to the Philippines, and has given no indication as to when it will be lifted.