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15th October 2019

DOT’s new strategy to attract big spenders from Middle East

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The DOT aims to get a bigger slice of the family market from the GCC region through its new "Kids Go Free" program. Photo cropped from the DOT program's brochure
The DOT aims to get a bigger slice of the family market from the GCC region through its new “Kids Go Free” program. Photo cropped from the DOT program’s brochure

The Department of Tourism has launched a promotion called “Kids Go Free” during the Arabian Travel Market to increase arrivals from one of the biggest spending source markets in the world.

Under the program, families of expats and residents in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and other countries in the GCC region can now travel to the Philippines and bring the kids for free.

While the promotion doesn’t cover airfare, the package under the Kids Go Free program includes free services like accommodation, breakfast, and tours for at most two kids per family.

The package under the Kids Go Free program covers three nights in Manila and another three in a destination of choice — Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Davao, Bicol, and Palawan. It also includes an English-speaking guide, airport transfers, half-day city tours, and a complementary Quran.

31 hotels and resorts, 8 tour operators, and 6 amusement parks and attractions in the Philippines have participated in the program specific for GCC countries.

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“The idea here is to get a bigger share of the family market not only out of Dubai [where ATM was held] but the GCCs,” said Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. in an interview with Travel Update Philippines.

He added that the DOT’s marketing strategy in the GCC region will focus on the expat and Muslim family market.

Last year, the Middle East region generated over 76,000 inbound tourists to the Philippines.


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