Buoyed by the success of the international publicity given to Philippine tourist destinations by the New Seven Wonders of the World's online campaign, Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon is hoping the Filipino blogging community will support a call to help discover and promote new Philippine destinations.
Gordon, chairman of the Senate tourism committee, issued the call as the Tourism Act of 2009 expected to be signed into law by President Arroyo on May 12 will further reinvigorate the country's tourism industry.
"Bloggers are basically volunteers who share their ideas and a good number of them are quite effective at moving their readers into action. One cause I personally want to enlist their support for is the cause of discovering and promoting new Filipino tourist destinations," he said.
According to him, the Tourism Act of 2009 which he authored will enable the country to develop new tourist destinations that will be needed when more intensive tourist promotions take place.
He said the challenge is to create options that are just as good, if not better, than the stars of Philippine tourism, like Boracay, Dos Palmas, Bohol , and other destinations.
"Our country needs to create a buzz about Philippine tourist destinations.. It is time to show the pride of one's country because we indeed have a beautiful country with a great history, culture and most importantly, with great people," said Gordon.
Gordon, former tourism secretary, pointed out that he envisions the creation of an internet phenomenon, like the tourism promotion strategy of Australia , where they advertised a website with the claim of 'The best job in the world'.
He pointed out that it drew millions of hits a day until the website bogged down because of the traffic generated.
The senator himself confesses to browsing a few blogs which include www.ellentordesillas.com,www.professionalheckler.wordpress.com, www.bongaustero.blogspot.com, and a few others that he chances upon when he googles himself.
Gordon said that even avid users of social networking sites such Facebook, Multiply, and Friendster can help in promoting the Philippine tourism buzz by coming up with status updates, photo stories, and links to information on yet undiscovered Filipino tourism destinations.
"You can tell your friends and relatives that you are helping promote Philippine tourism. Together with some leaders in the tourism industry, we might even put up a cause on Facebook for new Philippine tourist destinations. I hope more people join and help us out," said Gordon.
The senator said he frequently checks on the status updates of his Facebook friends, which include other politicians, businessmen, and high school buddies. (30/prf)