By Jun N. Aguirre
KALIBO, Aklan ? Despite the recent issuance of travel advisories against the Philippines, an official of the Department of Tourism (DoT) has urged Filipinos, particularly millennials, to help promote tourism through the mobile app Instagram.
DoT undersecretary Frederick Alegre said on Saturday, June 24, that the public should exploit Instagram, a free social media site where users can posts videos and photos, to promote various places — whether explored or unexplored — in the country.
?Philippine tourism has been affected by travel ban advisories because of the war in Marawi and the isolated incidents in Resorts World Manila and the Abu Sayyaf attack recently in Bohol,? he said.
Alegre came over to Aklan as one of the speakers of the first Congressman Allen Quimpo Memorial Media Forum. The activity, which was organized by the Aklan Press Club, was attended by around 250 participants.
Alegre said the DoT is currently coordinating with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the proper issuance of travel advisories.
He said the DOT is hoping that the UNWTO would release guidelines on travel advisories to include details on the exact geographical location of the country and the length of time for the observance of the travel ban. There should also be consultation with the concerned country, the DOT exec said.
Despite the travel advisories, Alegre said the Philippines posted an 11.4-percent tourism growth in the first quarter of the year.
Earlier, a global travel blog reported that the Philippines was in the top ten of the well-loved destinations in Asia according to likes posted in Instagram.
Benjamin Deck of the Home Away Travel said in an email interview that Boracay is considered as the most loved Philippine location in Instagram.
The world-famous island generated 71, 608 likes; followed by Coron island in Palawan with 47, 259 likes. In third spot was the Malapascua island in Cebu with 38, 622 likes.
Other Instagram favorites are the Chocolate Hills in Bohol with 37, 436 likes; Enchanted Kingdom, 14,201 likes; Quezon Memorial Circle, 13,496 likes; San Agustin Church, 12,738 likes; Hundred Islands National Park, 11957 likes; Rizal Monument, 10, 287 likes; and Malacanang Palace, 9917 likes.