Philippines taps TikTok users to address coronavirus tourism impact

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is tapping millennials addicted to popular video-sharing social networking app TikTok to address the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.

On Wednesday, March 4, Tourism Assistant Secretary Howard Lance Uyking said that the campaign, which uses the hashtag #GoCreatePH, invites Filipinos to dance while featuring their hometown’s tourism spots.

“It’s a crowdsourcing initiative for people to promote where they are in order to entice people to travel,” Uyking said. 

The campaign has over 15 million views on TikTok as of writing.

The DOT is banking on TikTok to encourage travel this summer season and mitigate the economic impact of the novel coronavirus. With #GoCreatePH, users dance while visiting a popular tourist destination. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/wRoVxLJeBl — Ralf Rivas (@RalfRivas) March 4, 2020

The effort is reminiscent of the Department of Tourism's (DOT) award-winning "It's more fun in the Philippines" campaign, where the promotions also banked on crowdsourced content to amplify its messaging.

Will President Rodrigo Duterte be featured on the campaign? Tourism officials are keeping other details of the campaign under wraps, but they said that this is a possibility.

Duterte is set to visit Boracay in March to encourage Filipinos to travel.

The Philippines stands to lose at least P42.9 billion in tourism revenues due to the threat of the novel coronavirus.

Tourist arrivals in popular destinations like Boracay, Cebu, and Bohol declined significantly in February.

The DOT will be spending P6 billion to support local tourism. 

Hotels and airlines have slashed prices just to encourage travel.

The DOT said that travelling around the country is safe, as the Philippines has not recorded domestic transmission. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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