By Azer Parrocha
MANILA, (PNA) — There is a term coined for a new type of tourism that was “more meaningful”, said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., referring to the term “social tourism” or tourism based on people.
”The Philippines may have more of so many other things but there is one thing we have more of than most, the one thing captured in one word,” Jimenez said—referring to the word “fun”.
During the recent Social Business Summit in Angat, Bulacan, Jimenez described how it was none other than the Filipinos who put the “fun” in the tourism campaign, ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’.
“Fun is not about the place, it is about the people,” Jimenez said, adding that the Filipinos had a high regard on each other’s welfare.
“As you go around in this country, you realize that fundamental is what fun is all about,” he added. “The reason why it’s so much fun in the Philippines is because the people are preoccupied with the welfare of each other.,”
“They say that Filipinos take life not as individuals but as groups. Life itself is not a solo performance but a series of successful partnerships and relationships,” he further said.
The Tourism chief explained that the very concept of social tourism is based on people which just so happens to be one of the country’s strengths.
“Why do they (people) keep on travelling? Someday they will travel not just to see places but to meet people and social tourism is an opportunity to do exactly that,” Jimenez said.
“Eventually social tourism will become the bridge between the old kind of tourism and the new kind of tourism which is more meaningful,” he noted.
“(In social tourism) they are learning something that is very difficult to learn anywhere else—it is learning how to be happy,” he added.
He also said that social tourism was more sustainable because the more foreign tourists made friends, the more there will always be visitors.
“They (tourists) will talk about it (and) when they go home, they will miss the Philippines they will come back,” he said. “They are helping our people discover themselves also.”