Ilocos Norte pitches for tourists
The provincial government expects a climb in tourism activities this summer following the launch of media advertisements in the national and global markets pitching Ilocos Norte’s tourist destinations.
Governor Imee Marcos said last week’s launch of media spots from billboards and television advertisements generated the attention that the province sought to achieve while tourism planners were still on the drawing board.
“We expect more tourists and balikbayan (overseas Filipino workers and Filipinos based abroad) to come in when summer sets in because of the tourism brand we had launched,” she said.
The campaign brand, “Paoay Kumakaway” (Paoay is waving or Paoay beckons), made its debut in Metro Manila on March 1 using billboards that captured Ilocos Norte’s tourism landmarks.
The billboards were posted along Light Rail Transit (LRT) routes and major thoroughfares, such as Marcos Highway, Aurora Boulevard, Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, Legarda Street and Recto Avenue.
The billboards and television spots featured locals with their signature mustache showing off the province’s tourism attractions from culture, heritage, food, sports and beaches. The use of the ubiquitous mustache was inspired by national hero and Ilocano painter Juan Luna, a native of Badoc town.
Negotiations are under way for the placement of similar ads along the South Luzon Expressway and the Skyway.
TV commercials have been aired to national and international audiences through Cinema One, The Filipino Channel, Star Movies and Solar Sports.
Similar spots are running on four screens of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 1’s east and west arrival concourse and at the arrival concierge of Naia Terminal 2.
On top of investing on tourism promotions, the provincial government has been setting in place facilities and businesses to complete the requirements that any destination must offer to visitors.
Last year alone, business centers were put up around the capital Laoag to serve tourists. The Department of Tourism made its share by strengthening tourism services, such as training and promotions to build the capabilities of locals in opening their doors to tourists.
The tourism brand is initially focused on courting the domestic and OFW market.
The province hopes to recapture the Chinese market, which has been thinning out since 2010 as a result of the botched rescue operations of Hong Kong tourists who were taken hostage by a former policeman at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. Eight tourists and the hostage taker were killed in a bloody rescue attempt that ended the 10-hour hostage drama. Cristina Arzadon, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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