The Department of Tourism’s recently approved budget of P1.7 billion for this year until 2012 is not enough to support all of its projects and campaigns but the department will judiciously make do with what it has to fulfill its role.
Miss Universe 2011 Philippine Delegate Shamcey Supsup
For instance, Assistant Secretary for international tourism promotion Benito C. Bengzon Jr. on Monday said that his office was alloted only P466 million for several plans and programs for international market promotion, which is definitely not enough.
“We’ve fallen on hard times, but what can we do, is also true globally. It’s a difficult situation. However, we’ll find ways and means to stretch what’s available for us even with limited resources,” Bengzon said.
Like not competing with big-spending other Asian countries with big in terms TV commercials? “Could be.”
The arrival of Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup has been mentioned by several sectors as a possible ambassadress of goodwill for tourism promotions because of her popularity, beauty and intellect.
Some suggested function for the Gen-San born beauty queen is for her to attend functions and speak about the Philippines’ infinite variety of natural attractions, colorful history, unique art and mixed-race culture.
“We’re open to that but we have to ask Secretary Ramon Jimenez first before making a decision. Ms. Supsup will be a great help in tourism but as to what role or capacity, we still don’t know,” said Bengzon.
Bengzon is leaving for Japan next month for a speaking engagement on aviation where he will encourage the foreign airlines to take advantage of the “open skies policy” which will service tourists/visitors in and out of the country.
“What is important is foreign tourists will come to us to help prop up the tourism industry. We are surrounded by oceans and seas so the best mode of transportation is through air. There are some who take luxury cruise liners but they are far too few than those who arrive by planes.”
Bengzon said he will tell the foreign airlines to take the several routes not serviceable by local planes, which is also in fulfilment of the “pocket open skies policy” favored by Secretary Jimenez.