In line with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Cebu Pacific Air brought to the country selected social media influencers from five countries in the region.
The Philippines’ leading carrier rolled out its ASEAN One program from September 20 to 27, wherein five invited travel and lifestyle influencers from neighboring countries toured three emerging tourism destinations in Central Visayas—Dumaguete, Bohol, and Cebu (supporting the Department of Tourism’s efforts to push for alternative destinations to promote other beautiful islands in the country).
The objective was to make more tourists from Southeast Asia acquainted with the Philippines. “The Philippines is not top of mind for most Southeast Asian travelers,” said Cebu Pacific Air Corporate Communications Director Charo Logarta-Lagamon. “We want to show them that they can fly east to see a different flavor of Asia.”
Social media influencers
The online influencers were selected based on their social media following, willingness to try new adventures, and record in spreading positivism. They were expected to relay their fun experiences in the Philippines to their young followers in their respective countries.
“This is our way of appealing to the younger market and demographic who consume media and our way of staying relevant across different markets in the region,” Logarta-Lagamon said. In 2015, the company had rolled out a similar program when it brought social media influencers from South Korea, Japan, and China to experience the Philippines.
This time, the company tapped influencers in eight ASEAN countries where it flies. However, the influencers they invited from Cambodia and Brunei were not able to make any commitment. In the Philippines, Cebu Pacific Air selected YouTube star and influencer Janina Vela to be the home country ambassadress who also joined the group in the seven-day tour.
Experiencing the Philippines
Johanis Sani (Malaysia), Salshabilla Adriani (Indonesia), Elaine Jasmine (Singapore), Baby Mojiko (Thailand), and Pho Dac Biet (Vietnam) enjoyed their first experience upon their arrival, when they rode a jazzed up jeepney—an airconditioned type with videoke (almost similar to the modern jeepney prototypes).
During their first day, Cebu Pacific Air threw a unique welcome party for the group, which was held at Social House in Circuit, Makati City. The event served as a modern cultural gathering where popular traditional food from each of the ASEAN countries were served. It was also the sendoff before the influencers start their adventures in three local destinations.
Other than several domestic destinations, Cebu Pacific Air has more than 100 flights weekly to seven ASEAN country destinations. On a weekly basis, it flies four times to Cambodia, five times to Brunei, seven times to Thailand, 11 times to Indonesia, 21 to Malaysia (including flughts to Kota KInabalu), and 40 times to Singapore. It is also the only airline that offers direct flights between Manila and Hanoi in Vietnam on top of its regular flights to Ho Chi Minh.
According to Logarta-Lagamon, Cebu Pacific Air is set to start taking direct flights between Zamboanga and Sendakan in Indonesia on October 29. “To date, there are ferry services that take the route, with each ticket worth about P3,000 one way, taking about 14 to 24 hours of travel. Our flight fare would be worth around the same rate but could boast of just 40 minutes in travel time,” Logarta-Lagamon ended.