Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Subic snags best tourism marketing plum in Cebu

By Henry Empeño - Business Mirror

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Razzle-dazzle presentations, backed by serious promotion efforts by tourism establishments and regulators here, created the one-two combination that made Subic Bay a knockout at the tourism fair held in Cebu over the weekend.

According to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) officials, Team Subic Bay, which officially represented the Subic Bay Freeport in the 2nd Philippine International Tourism Fair (PITF), snagged the award for “best in marketing effort” during the fair from June 26 to 28.

The team, headed by the SBMA Tourism Department and the Corporate Communications Group, and boosted by 10 tourism companies here, bested more than 100 local and foreign exhibitors that joined the event, said SBMA deputy administrator for tourism Raul Marcelo.

Among those “wowed” by the Subic Bay exhibits, Marcelo said, were Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who toured the Subic booth with PITF 2008 chairman Angel Ramos-Bognot.

Durano especially liked the concept and style of Team Subic Bay’s exhibits and presentations, Marcelo added.

“The fair was all about marketing really,” said Marcelo, who presented the trophy to SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga and SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza on Monday.

“We came out on top because we’ve been doing serious marketing for Subic tourism for a long time. This only proved that hard work really pays off,” he added.

Marketing gimmicks, apparently, played a big role, though.

In addition to the exhibit booth that showcased photos of Subic’s tourism attractions, Team Subic Bay highlighted Subic offerings with audiovisual presentations, conducted raffle draws, poured out giveaways, and entertained visitors with lovable mascots, said SBMA tourism department OIC Portia Zabala.

Then there was the trend-setting Subic Bay Day held on the first day of the fair.

The performances by singers and dancers that depicted the culture of Subic’s indigenous Aeta tribe completed the imagery of Subic as an exotic destination, thereby giving Team Subic Bay an edge over other presentors, Zabala added.

Salonga and Arreza, meanwhile, said the PITF award only shows how serious the SBMA is in its efforts to strengthen Subic’s tourism industry.

“We consider tourism as a cornerstone of Subic’s attraction as an investment and commercial hub, and we’re aiming to bring this industry to a higher level by working closely with business locators and tourism stakeholders,” Arreza said.

“That’s the Subic spirit,” Salonga added. “Our tourism people used Subic’s natural attractions—which is a gift of Nature—and turned it into a winnable resource. Nature has helped a lot in our marketing efforts.”

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