Just after the New Year, I had a need for some tourist information. Somebody had written to me with a question about travel in the Philippines, and on this question, I didn’t know the answer. So I decided to do a little searching on the web to see what I could find. In the past, when I have done searching through Philippine Government websites aimed at tourists, I have been disappointed, so I was hoping that the state of the Philippine Tourism web had improved. Unfortunately, I was again disappointed.
Remember, this was just after the change of years, 2007 was out and 2008 was fresh. This is a complicated time for websites, because you have to make sure that your content indicated which year you are talking about when it comes to a schedule of events and such. Unfortunately, I found that all of the tourist events (festivals and such) were listed with the month and the day only, but no year. Because of this, I was very unsure whether the dates listed were for 2007 or 2008. Another thing that caught my eye on the Department of Tourism website was that they had a big banner, which looked very nice, but it said “Visit Philippines 2003.” Oh my. Talk about the site being stale! How unfortunate.
Well, as I continued to search different sites, I did find that some of the Government sites were much better than others. This points to another unfortunate problem, the Philippine Government, unfortunately, has way too many websites for people who might want to visit the Philippines. They really need to consolidate everything into one site, and keep that up to date. With so many different sites (and even different domains that are all Government sponsored), they forget to update some of the sites, and it leads to confusion for potential visitors. I would recommend that all of the Government sites for tourism be consolidated on their main tourist site, and that they have a staff dedicated to keeping this site as fresh as possible.
The Philippines truly has a lot of World-Class cultural events, festivals and such, and I believe that these events could really attract a good number of tourists to the country every year. At this time, though, the Philippines has a very low number of tourists compared to other countries in the region, particularly Thailand. I know that the Philippines can gain market share in the tourism market, and I would be willing to do anything I can to help it happen. I feel that through my many websites, I do assist in attracting a few tourists here, or at least I help make the trips of tourists coming here more successful. I know that I answer many questions sent to me by people who read my sites, and are planning a trip.
Later this week, I want to highlight the effort of Davao City to attract tourists. I did a little research into the efforts that Davao is making, and I will just say that I was surprised at what I found. Tune in later this week to see what I learned!
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.