Let’s get in touch.
We’d love to hear from you.
Cognizant of their contribution and positive impact on the country’s tourism industry, the Philippines’ top travel content creators expressed their support for domestic tourism and MSMEs at the recently concluded Tourism Summit 2023.
At the forum “The Power of Storytelling”, which was held as part of the Go Negosyo Tourism Summit 2023 held last May 6 at the SM Seaside City Cebu, travel content creators Marco “Bogart the Explorer” Ho, Kyle “Kulas” Jennermann of “Becoming Filipino”, Carl Chuidian of “The Chui Show”, Angelica Gapit of “Angelica and Aileen Wanders”, and Herbie Arabelo of ”NSTV Travel Vlog” shared with forum host Sam Oh their views on their impact on tourism.
“What travel vloggers and content creators do is important,” said Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion. “They help market the Philippines in terms of having the best beaches, the friendliest people, even the best food in Asia,” he said. Concepcion explained that tourism benefits many MSMEs, especially those in the provinces. “Through their help, our tourism numbers are now returning to their pre-pandemic levels while many income opportunities have opened for our MSMEs in various parts of the country,” he said.
Co-presented by the Department of Tourism, the Tourism Summit gathered the who’s who in the travel and tourism sectors, including industry experts, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders in a day-long event to tackle the future of Philippine tourism and the economic opportunities it presents, particularly for MSMEs.
“Traveling domestically… is empowering locals and driving development and making these places safer and more fun to travel,” said Kyle Jennermann, better known as Kulas of the YouTube channel “Becoming Filipino.”
Jennermann said that after visiting the Philippines, he felt the need to share his experiences through video. “People wouldn’t believe me so I started … making video clips,” he said. “I had some really amazing, heartfelt experiences and I felt it was really important to talk about this place and share it,” he said.
Chuidian, who vlogs mostly about food, emphasized the need for immersing oneself in the local cuisine. “Try to eat local food. Nakakatulong ka sa economy nila and nakakatulong ka sa small business owner, and you get to know a lot about their culture,” he said.
“My take on it is to do part of the culture,” said Ho, whose routine involves doing different accents. “I do it in a way with language. Language is key, and that is why I am doing the English, Tagalog, Bisaya thing,” he said. “The language – that is attractive, too,” he said.
For her part, Gapit, who focuses on budget travel, believes her content helps by making travel accessible even to those with little money to spend. “We have 82 provinces and people don’t see them as tourist attractions,” she said. “It’s important that people can see it: that it doesn’t have to be expensive [to travel].”
Local governments are also important in promoting their own tourist attractions. “It [depends on] the proactivity of the LGU,” said Arabelo. He said that as content creators, they want to feature lesser known places, but that the tourism offices on the local level should align with this objective so that they, too, can benefit from tourism.
The content creators were unanimous in saying that there are still hidden tourist gems in the Philippines. Ho, for his part, said that even Philippine cities have their own unique appeal as he encouraged locals to explore what cities have to offer. “We have to drive tourism everywhere, and stop focusing only on the main places,” said Jennermann. Among the places named by the panel are Basilan, Jolo, Surigao del Sur and the Dinagat Islands.
A Special Award for Travel Content Creators was also given during the event. The awardees were Ho; Chuidian; Arabelo and Bobby Galura; Gapit and Aileen Dapitan; Ed “One Armed Wanderer” Puno; Anton and Rache Diaz; Yosh Dimen and Vins Carlos; and Coleen “Colz” Vidal.
Aside from the influencers and vloggers, 20 MSMEs operating in the tourism industry were also given recognition via the “Inspiring Tourism Entrepreneurs Awards”, and a Tourism Leadership award was given to Hennann Group’s Henry Chusuey and ProFood International’s Justin Uy. ***