The Department of Tourism seems to be on a roll in campaigning for Philippine tourism globally through a series of international partnerships. A few weeks ago, DOT launched a partnership with the gorgeous international social media influencer Jeremy Jauncey of Beautiful Destinations, followed by the Visit Philippines Again 2016 campaign in the London Waterloo Station that went trending online.
Unknown to many Filipinos, the DOT once again pushed the limits last March and crossed over to retail by partnering with Russia’s largest apparel retailer, SELA, that offers trendy high-quality yet affordable casual wear adults, teenagers and kids.
The SELA brand launched a T-shirt collection that sells six designs featuring the Philippines, highlighting destinations that include Manila, Cebu, Bohol, and Siargao. These shirts are currently being sold in 400 SELA stores in 200 cities in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirgistan, Ukraine and Belarus, and on the SELA online shopping website. The six-piece fashion line consists of T-shirts for men, women, and children, and are complemented by Philippine-made fashion accessories like bags, bracelets and fashion jewelry.
According to DOT Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato, Jr., who represented the DOT at the Moscow launch, the Philippines shirt collection idea came from Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr who thought of using T-shirts as walking billboard advertising for the Philippines in a huge country like Russia.
DOT wanted to tap on the Russians’ love for fashion with hopes that in using T-shirts for advertising Philippine tourism destinations, it will be an effective way to establish the Philippine brand in the Russian market’s consciousness, easily achieving product awareness and name recall, particularly among young travellers.
“The average age of the Russian tourists to the Philippines is 36 and most of them are professionals, who come with their spouses and children,” shares DOT director Verna Buensuceso, who handles the Russian market for DOT. “They visit the Philippines for leisure and they prefer beach holidays, sightseeing, shopping, and scuba diving as tourism activities. Eighty percent of the time, it is the women who make the decision on the choice of holiday destination for the Russian family.”
Last year, the Philippines received only 35,378 Russian visitors, but this market is steadily growing at a rate of 6.5 percent. DOT’s partnership with SELA aims to expand this current number.