The Department of Tourism (DOT) officially launched its “Bisita, Be My Guest (BBMG)” program in Western Visayas that culminated the three-day Central Philippines Tourism Expo at the Iloilo Convention Center hosted by Iloilo City on Sunday afternoon.
“The DOT has devised a program that will allow every Filipino whether here or abroad to become an ambassador for the Philippines. This program which we call Bisita, Be My Guest program seeks to incentivize our fellow Filipinos by inviting either their friends, families, or colleagues to visit the Philippines and if they do that, they will be able to win exciting prizes,” said Tourism Undersecretary Mae Elaine T. Bathan, representing Sec. Christina Garcia Frasco in her keynote message.
Bathan said the DOT would like to cascade the campaign locally since it was officially unveiled last year and made successful launches in the United States and Japan.
“We wish for the world to see what abounds here in the Philippines. And the good news is the Philippines is back on track and we are back on our feet. The momentum for recovery as well as for growth has been set,” she said.
Bathan said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has called upon the DOT to make the country a “tourism powerhouse” in Asia.
DOT Western Visayas Regional Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez, in an earlier interview, said the BBMG is an incentive program for Filipinos living overseas to come home and enjoy the Philippines.
“When you come home and register for the program, you get discounts from participating partners and raffles to encourage them to come home, enjoy and discover the Philippines,” she said.
Rodriguez said the invitation has been extended to the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) since there are retirees who are based in Iloilo.
It was also extended to Filipino communities and alumni associations abroad through a series of Zoom orientations and meetings.
Those availing of the program can avail of discounts ranging from 15 to 20 percent in tour packages and accommodation, among others.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Bathan awarded PHP200,000 worth of Community-based Kulinarya Tourism Workshop with culinary starter kits to the Nagpana Minorities Association (NAMIAS), an indigenous community of Ati residing at Barangay Nagpana in the municipality of Barotac Viejo in Iloilo.
“The secretary wishes to convey that with the skills and training program that the Department of Tourism will be providing to our indigenous peoples’ communities, we will be able to provide them additional opportunities and markets by which we can take advantage of the growing and flourishing tourism industry here in Iloilo, and more specifically in Barotac Viejo,” Bathan said.
She also distributed guide kits to 17 selected tour guides from Iloilo, Guimaras, and Boracay Island containing essentials that they can use during tour guiding events. (PNA)