03 July 2008

Subic Bags Top Tourism Marketing Awards

Serious efforts by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to promote Subic as a major tourism destination paid off considerably when it won the top marketing award in the 2nd Philippine International Tourism Fair (PITF) held in Cebu over the weekend.

Team Subic Bay, headed by the SBMA Tourism Department and the Corporate Communications Group and boosted by 10 tourism companies here, received the “Best in Marketing Effort” award during the PITF awards night on June 28, besting more than 100 local and foreign exhibitors in the three-day tourism fair.

The award was presented by PITF 2008 chairman Angel Ramos-Bognot, who earlier joined Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia in visiting Subic ’s exhibit booth.

Durano was “wowed” by both the concept and style of Team Subic Bay’s exhibits and presentations, said Raul Marcelo, SBMA deputy administrator for tourism.

Marcelo and other members of Team Subic Bay presented the crystal PITF trophy to SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga and SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza on Monday, pointing out that the event became a venue for tourism stakeholders in Subic to showcase Subic’s best.

Aside from the SBMA, Team Subic Bay was represented by operators of six hotels, three theme parks, and one golf course in the Subic Bay Freeport.

“The fair was all about marketing really,” Marcelo said. “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.”

In addition to the exhibit booth, Team Subic Bay put up audio-visual presentations and performances by dancers and singers that depicted the culture of Subic’s indigenous Ayta tribe, said SBMA tourism department OIC Portia Zabala.

“We’ve come up with a lot of marketing gimmicks — raffle draws, giveaways, mascots, and the SBMA Day. Perhaps these gave us the critical mass to clinch the award,” she added.

Salonga and Arreza, meanwhile, remarked that 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.” (SBMA Corporate Communications)