AMIDST a fiesta-themed celebration, the general public welcomed the rebirth of the Bring Home a Friend to the Philippines, aimed to help raise inbound tourism figures and spur more economic activity.
The grand relaunch of BHAF was held at the Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila complete with Higantes dancers, other cultural performers and renowned Original Pilipino Music artists.
“Tonight marks an important milestone for all of us in the Department of Tourism as we unveil the most anticipated return of a widely successful incentive travel program which was first launched by former Tourism secretary Mina Gabor in 1994, the Bring Home a Friend,” said DOT Secretary Wanda Teo.
The BHAF is a rewards program which seeks to promote travel to the Philippines by encouraging Filipinos or expatriates in the Philippines to invite friends from abroad with the lure of prizes for both “sponsor” and “invitee.”
By simply following four simple steps: Invite, Accept, Travel and Register, any eligible ‘sponsor’ and ‘invitee’ can join.
Program mechanics are available at the www.bringhomeafriend.online.
Mina Gabor expressed excitement and high esteem that the project she initiated 23 years ago has come back to life.
She has high hopes for its success as the current situation is more enabling now, given that more prizes are at stake and, more importantly, through digital and social media, activation and promotion is a lot easier.
The sponsors were thanked through plaques of appreciation awarded by the secretary and other DoT officials.
Partner sponsors include Megaworld Corporation, Toyota Motor Philippines, Philippine Airlines, Duty Free Philippines, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, Tourism Promotions Board, El Nido Hotel and Resort, JPark Island Resort and Water Park Cebu and Pearl Farm Beach Resort.
Providing entertainment were hosts Randy Santiago and Jimmy Bondoc together with the Sabado Boys, Mitoy Yonting and the Aegis band.
Actor Piolo Pascual was tapped to sing the jingle, introduced as the newest Tourism Ambassador. He was, however, unable to join the event.
“We are looking at positive reaction from the United States, Japan, Middle East and Hong Kong as these are the places where a lot of Filipino communities are. Eventually, we hope to spur more travel from other areas,” Teo said.
“Bring Home a Friend is our shout-out to the world to come and see the Philippines: a country of diverse cultures, rich traditions, and unrivaled biodiversity,” she added.
Participating officers from the different tourism industry associations, foreign diplomatic community, congress, support government agencies and media promised to give their all-out support to the program.