Philippines’ top travel content creators show support for MSMEs at Go Negosyo’s Tourism Summit 2023

COGNIZANT of their contribution and positive impact on the Philippine tourism industry, the country’s top travel content creators expressed their support for domestic tourism and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) at the recently concluded Tourism Summit 2023.

At the forum, “The Power of Storytelling,” which was held as part of the Go Negosyo Tourism Summit 2023 held last May 6, 2023, at SM Seaside City Cebu, travel content creators shared their views on the impact of content creators on tourism.

The travel content creators present at the forum were Marco “Bogart the Explorer” Ho, Kyle “Kulas” Jennermann of “Becoming Filipino,” Carl Chuidian of “The Chui Show,” Angelica Gapit of “Angelica and Aileen Wanders,” and Herbie Arabelo of “NSTV Travel Vlog.”

“What travel vloggers and content creators do is important,” said Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion. “They help market the Philippines in terms of having the best beaches, the friendliest people, and even the best food in Asia.

Concepcion explained that tourism benefits many MSMEs, especially those in the provinces.

“Through their help, our tourism numbers are now returning to their pre-pandemic levels while many income opportunities have opened for our MSMEs in various parts of the country,” he accounted.

Co-presented by the Department of Tourism, the Tourism Summit gathered notable personalities from the travel and tourism sectors, including industry experts, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders in a day-long event to tackle the future of Philippine tourism and the economic opportunities it presents—particularly for MSMEs.

“Traveling domestically empowers locals and drives development forward which in turn makes these places safer and more fun to travel,” said Kyle Jennermann, better known as Kulas of the YouTube channel “Becoming Filipino.”

Jennermann said that after visiting the Philippines, he felt the need to share his experiences through video.

“I had some amazing, heartfelt experiences and I felt it was really important to talk about this place and share it,” Jennermann remarked.

Carl Chuidian, who vlogs mostly about food, emphasized the need for immersing oneself in the local cuisine.

“Try to eat local food. Nakakatulong ka sa economy nila and nakakatulong ka din sa small business owners and you get to know a lot about their culture,” Chuidian said.

“My take on it is to do part of the culture,” said Marco Ho, whose routine involves doing different accents. “I do it in a way with language. Language is key, and that is why I am doing the English, Tagalog, Bisaya thing.”

For her part, Gapit, who focuses on budget travel, believes her content helps by making travel accessible even to those with little money to spend. “We have 82 provinces and people don’t see them as tourist attractions,” she said. “It’s important that people know that it doesn’t have to cost so much money to travel.”

Local governments are also important in promoting their tourist attractions. “It depends on the proactivity of the LGU,” said Herbie Arabelo. He shared that as content creators, they want to feature lesser-known places, but that the tourism offices on the local level should align with this objective so that they, too, can benefit from tourism.

The content creators were unanimous in saying that there are still hidden tourist gems in the Philippines. Ho, for his part, said that even Philippine cities have their unique appeal as he encouraged locals to explore what cities have to offer.

“We have to drive tourism everywhere, and stop focusing only on the main places,” said Jennermann. Among the places named by the panel are Basilan, Jolo, Surigao del Sur, and the Dinagat Islands.

A special award for the content creators was given during the event. The awardees were Marco Ho, Carl Chuidian, Herbie Arabelo, Bobby Galura, Angela Gapit and Aileen Dapitan, Ed “One Armed Wanderer” Puno, Anton and Rache Diaz, Yosh Dimen and Vins Carlos, and Coleen “Colz” Vidal.

Aside from the influencers and vloggers, 20 MSMEs operating in the tourism industry were also given recognition via the “Inspiring Tourism Entrepreneurs Awards,” and a Tourism Leadership award was given to Hennann Group’s Henry Chusuey and ProFood International’s Justin Uy. (SPONSORED CONTENT)