Seoul, South Korea—Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Corazon Tulfo-Teo welcomed around 250 overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) at the Lotte Hotel on Sunday, December 17, for the official launching of the department’s Bring Home a Friend (BHAF) campaign.
Joining the DOT head were Undersecretary Katherine de Castro, Philippine Ambassador to Korea Raul Hernandez, Tourism Attache Maria Corazon Jorda-Apo, travel and tour executives, representatives from the Korean government, and Korean journalists.
Secretary Teo encouraged the audience to actively take part in the current administration’s latest tourism campaign to further promote the growing international interest to visit the Philippines.
She said, “Umuwi na kayo (come home) and please bring your Korean friends with you.”
The tourism chief also thanked the Korean travel market for being the Philippines’ number one source market since 2016. She said, “This campaign is our way of saying to the growing Korean tourist market, now counting to over 1.3 million – that our country will always be their second home.”
Undersecretary de Castro added in her speech, “Needless to say, we have all the reasons to be proud hosts. In fact, world leading travel magazines have consistently named our islands—Boracay, Palawan and Cebu—as among the world’s most beautiful islands.”
Seong Heiu Pyeon, an editor of a Korean magazine, said he already asked his Filipino friends to register him as a BHAF invitee. “A lot of Koreans are travelling to the Philippines and other than the country’s beautiful beaches, I see this as an opportunity to establish a relationship between Korea and the Philippines. See you Philippines, I will definitely book my flight now.”
From January to October of 2017, a total of 1,332,141 Koreans visited the Philippines, accounting for 24.33 percent of total arrivals.