Philippines takes new ‘psychographics’ tack in tourism marketing

Tan: moving away from demographics and taking a harder look at travel motivations

The Philippines will soon adopt a new marketing strategy focussed on psychographics rather than demographics, and anchored on responsible tourism and stewardship.

The new direction, to be complemented by a “refreshed” It’s more fun in the Philippines campaign, is in keeping with changes in global realities that are already shaping travel and tourism, said Tourism and Promotions Board’s (TPB) new COO, Marie Venus Tan.

Tan: TPB veering away from demographics and taking a harder look at travel motivations (photo credit: ©FAO/Roberto Cenciarelli; work licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)

While in the past, “we looked at (tourists’) demographics – age, propensity to travel, income, where they come from, religion and so on, we are now going to start looking at psychographics – what motivates people”, she told TTG Asia at the sidelines of the Kain Na (Let’s Eat) culinary tourism launch in Davao City last Friday.

TPB’s plans and programmes for 2019 specify that its marketing and promotions focus will be on “people’s interest”, and will shift from “hard sell” to “soft power”, building on culture, gastronomy, Filipino values and the country’s unique national assets.

“The paradigm has shifted to people looking at experiential travel… No longer are people just wanting to go to a hotel and relax at the beach,” Tan said.

She added that the destination has been marketed using the same photos over and over again, and with the same stories. This has put its products in comparison with too many competing offerings not just globally, but also regionally.

“So if we talk about the beach, other destinations (in Asia) will always say, ‘we have the best beach, mountains, waterfall’. All of that is always debatable. So we’re now branching into a new direction that will really bring out what is uniquely ours.”

She said there are many aspects that the destination can anchor on to interest tourists, with further details to be announced at a later time.

“Security is no longer an issue; safety is no longer an issue when deciding where to go because people are now looking at destinations to fulfil their interests. We kept so many things for the Philippines for too long.”

Tan further shared that the TPB’s new marketing and promotion strategy will be anchored on the overarching pronouncements of tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat on responsible tourism and responsible stewardship.

The TPB will also look at trending global interests like nature, food, slow travel, artificial intelligence, climate change, mobile wallet, shared economy, etc.

Strategic marketing directions, the TPB’s 2019 plans showed, would consider factors such as tourist spend and duration of stay

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