DOT Wants Overseas Filipinos to Be Tourism Ambassadors
Mar 8, 2013
In line with the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign of the Department of Tourism (DOT), the government agency is now encouraging the 9 million Filipinos that are working and living abroad to help them promote the good image of our country in international communities.
The secretary of Tourism, Ramon Jimenez Jr. said in the speech he delivered during the Second Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora held in a hotel in Makati last month.
Overseas Filipinos can easily become our “new tourism ambassadors.” They can do this by promoting the Philippines in social networking sites and by coming home more often.
Jimenez said in his speech, “No matter how many kinds of Filipinos are in the world today—Filipino-Americans, Filipino-Chinese, Filipino-Italians, Filipino-Japanese, Filipino-Singaporeans, Filipino-French, Filipino-Arabs, Filipino-Germans, Filipino-Canadians and Filipino-Swedes, among others—there will always be only one type of fun. It’s called Filipino fun.”
According to him, the “Filipino fun” stems from an openness that is common trait of Filipinos.
He added, “To build a nation, one can only begin with the most basic of all ingredients—national pride. Your self-esteem, your confidence is what will make people sit up and take notice. They will praise you for your hard work, your perseverance, your intelligence, your discipline. But if you are great fun, if you are confident in yourself, they will follow you in the Philippines.”
Jimenez also urged Filipinos based abroad to visit the Philippines more frequently. The tourism industry got a boost last year by having 4.27 million tourists or a 9.07-percent increase from the 3.92 million tourists in 2011. The secretary is confident that with the help of the Filipino diaspora, this number would be surpassed this 2013. He also explained that the Filipino diaspora is more than spreading out.
“Because if all we did was to spread out, it could be the beginning of a separation, which is what makes this gathering very crucial, some important and so necessary,” he said.
Jimenez also said the slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines” conveys to the world that aside from language, Filipinos share a common view.
He said, “We share a common view of our world. We remind each other of the things that matter most—family, friendship and God.”
Meanwhile, the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) encourages the active participation of Filipinos based abroad in the Philippines national issues.
Del Rosario said, “Our foreign service posts are partners of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas in communicating with and mobilizing overseas Filipinos to participate in various programs,” including, among others, the Business Advisory Circle, which assists Philippine nationals abroad in setting up business partnerships in the country; the Alay Dunong program, which systematizes the skills and technology exchange between overseas Filipinos and the Philippines; and the Return and Reintegration Program, which assists balikbayans to successfully reintegrate into local life.”