Published on : Tuesday, November 28, 2017
The Christmas season generally brings about increased traffic on already congested urban roads for most Filipinos; however, it is also the time when many of the kababayans living and working abroad take their vacations in the Philippines.
For the Department of Tourism (DOT) of the Philippines, December may not be a month when tourist arrivals are at its highest, but some effort is given to ensure that the relatives’ visits are maximized. One such thing is the revival of the “Bring Home a Friend (BHAF)” program.
Overseas Filipinos, along with those residing here, are encouraged to invite their foreigner friends to the Philippines, and this also gives them a chance to win interesting prizes, including a condominium unit from Megaworld Corp. Similarly, lucky “friends” enrolled in the program win prizes.
The tourist promotions campaign will run until April 15 next year.
Mina Gabor first came up with the BHAF idea introducing it in 1994. Gabor, a staunch supporter and advocate of Philippine tourism, later became the tourism secretary. However, in spite of its success, the BHAF program was discontinued after three years.
The current Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo chose to revive it based on a survey conducted by the DOT last year which indicated that one out of every two tourists who came to the country said they dropped in due to a friend’s recommendation.
Teo believes in the power of word-of-mouth, which is why she decided to restart the popular program. Since October, the DOT has been busy promoting BHAF among Filipino communities abroad, mostly the Middle East and the US, and also locally.
With 10 million Filipinos working abroad, the BHAF program can become a potent tourism tool to boost interest in the Philippines.
Tags: DOT gives fresh start