Domingo Ramon C. Enerio III has spent his entire career promoting his beloved Philippines. Having boosted visitor totals during stints in Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, the Tourism Promotion Board boss is now making sure everyone knows what they will get when they visit his country – more fun.
Even the email address of Enerio and his colleagues are @morefunph.com. During opening day at the World Travel Market in London Enerio met with Elite Traveler Editor-in-Chief Douglas Gollan to make his pitch to private jet travelers.
Elite Traveler: What’s new for elite travelers?
Domingo Ramon C. Enerio III: We have Solaire Resort & Casino which is a 500-room resort, the first hotel opening in new 300-acre resort complex of some 5,000 room in a place called Entertainment City in front of Manila Bay. It has shopping, entertainment, theatres and is getting share from the Macau market. Ultimately it will be a regional destination. It’s right next to the international airport. In fact there is a dedicated skyway from the international terminal to the resort. It has all the luxury amenities any high roller or private jet traveler would want.
ET: Anything else in Manila?
DRE: In Metro Manila there is a lot of development. In Makati, the financial center, there is a new Fairmont and Raffles. Adjacent to Makati, on the site of a former military zone is now a large commercial development with a Grand Hyatt, the sixth Shangri-la in the Philippines and several other boutique hotels.
ET: And how about on the islands?
DRE: People automatically think about Boracay and Cebu but we have over 7,000 islands. The accommodations range from ultra-high end resorts to a standard matching anything you would find in the world to deserted islands you can have all to yourself. There are some great small resorts that are perfect for full takeovers by incentive groups and families. We have as everyone knows amazing diving, and we have unique experiences such as diving with the Whale Sharks. We have great culture and lots of soft adventure experiences. You can combine this with Manila where you can get a city experience.
ET: Are there investment opportunities for elite travelers?
DRE: The plan is to consolidate all the investment packages. At the moment we have different regimes for tourism investment, manufacturing investment and so forth. Our national government is studying a policy to consolidate this to streamline the process. It is an area where we want more investment.
ET: What separates the Philippines from competitors?
DRE: It’s the lifestyle we have. It’s more fun in the Philippines. The people and the lifestyle combines to make it more fun. The service is excellent. We have a long history with the United States and English language is taught from grade school. English is the medium for business and communications so it is easy here. But when we ask people at the end of their trip, what they liked, they said it was fun, and that’s because of our people and their take on life.
ET: Are you targeting the private jet market?
DRE: Yes! We want to see more high-end travelers. We hosted the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers during the pre-season. The feedback was terrific. We need to create more awareness of what we offer to the private jet traveler. The feedback is that people who come here have a good time, and after all life is about having fun. That’s what we offer.