Lawmaker calls for ‘rifle marketing’ of PH as tourist destination

Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo wants the Department of Tourism (DOT) to use the rifle, and not the shotgun, in advertising the Philippines as a preferred destination for foreign holidaymakers and a hub for international meetings, conventions, and exhibitions.

“We would urge the DOT to consider shifting to rifle marketing – as opposed to shotgun marketing – and to concentrate on our top five suppliers of foreign visitors, namely South Korea, the United States, Japan, China, and Australia,” Rillo, vice chairperson of the House committee on tourism, said in a statement on Monday.

“Rifle marketing” targets individual markets, whereas “shotgun marketing” aims for the entire global market regardless of specific corners.

“We want the DOT to succeed in bringing in a larger number of foreign visitors because their spending here contributes in a big way to creating new employment opportunities for Filipinos in accommodation, transport, food and beverage services, entertainment, and other economic activities,” Rillo said.

The DOT plans to spend another P1.26 billion next year to “sell” the Philippines to prospective foreign visitors, according to Rillo, also a member of the House committee on appropriations.

“The sum of P1.26 billion has been earmarked for the Tourism Promotions Fund (TPF) in the 2024 National Expenditure Program,” Rillo said.

The TPF is being funded by 25 percent of the national government’s share from the earnings of the state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and 25 percent of the national government’s share from international airport and seaport revenue collections, Rillo said.

The TPF has an allocation of P1.16 billion in the 2023 General Appropriations Law.

DOT figures submitted to Congress showed that a total of 4,038,370 foreign residents arrived in the Philippines from January to September this year.

Excluding Philippine passport holders who are permanent residents abroad, the top 10 foreign visitor arrivals in the nine-month period, by nationality, were:

  • South Korean      –       1,064,077 (26.35 percent);
  • American            –        715,744 (17.72 percent);
  • Japanese            –        220,604 (5.46 percent);
  • Chinese              –        207,932 (5.15 percent);
  • Australian           –        182,460 (4.52 percent);
  • Canadian            –        170,354 (4.22 percent);
  • Taiwanese           –        142,406 (3.53 percent);
  • British                 –        127,354 (3.15 percent);
  • Malaysian            –        76,971 (1.91 percent); and
  • Singaporean       –        71,945 (1.78 percent).