Philippines joins Expo 2012
Philippines wants more Korean tourists
MANILA, Philippines — Inspired by the influx of over 750,000 Korean visitors in the first 10 months of the year, Department of Tourism (DoT) Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. is gunning for an even bigger number, this time targeting a significant share of the eight million visitors at the forthcoming Expo 2012 in the southern Korean coastal city of Yeosu.
“Of the expected eight million visitors at the Yeosu Expo’s 3-month run from May 12 to August 12, some 7.5 million are Koreans, and any fraction of that number can help maintain and even raise the number of Korean visitors to the Philippines next year, thus possibly boosting our total foreign visitor arrivals to another record high,” said Jimenez, referring to the unprecedented inbound volume of 3.52 million in 2010.
“That is why we are joining the Yeosu expo as one of its exhibitors from more than 100 countries, each targeting a share of this huge Korean market,” Jimenez added.
The venue will be at Yeosu’s 1.74- million-sqm new port area with 250,000 square meters of exhibition space and auxiliary facilities that include the Expo Town, transit parking lots, and parks and green zones, among others.
Yeosu is one of the five cities of the South Jeolla province in the southernmost tip of the Korean peninsula facing the Jeju Strait.
The expo site overlooks the Hallyeosudo Marine National Park and Odong Island and is surrounded by 317 jewel-like islets, according to DoT Assistant Secretary for Planning and Promotions Domingo Ramon Enerio III.
“Thus, the expo theme is The Living Ocean and Coast, which we shall take advantage of to showcase our own unique archipelagic resources and tourism destinations, which have been attracting hordes of tourists from all over South Korea to all over the Philippines,” added Enerio, also the officer in charge of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the marketing arm of the DoT.
The DoT-TPB will set up the 257-sqm Philippine Pavilion between the US and Malaysian pavilions at the 3rd floor of the International – Pacific Ocean Zone.
The Philippine exhibits will carry the theme Islands of Diversity, Seas of Connectivity to lure tropical holiday seekers, honeymooners and other special interest groups such as divers and beach buffs, all making up a major slice of the Korean market.
“The country’s participation in the expo is also geared at reaffirming the strong diplomatic ties between the Philippines and South Korea, showing support for an important trading partner, building on the country's image as a center of marine biodiversity conservation, and generating awareness of the investment and retirement opportunities in the Philippines. The choice of the giant clam, tridacna giga, as the Philippine mascot echoes the country’s conservation efforts,” Jimenez added.