DOT’s ‘iTravel PINAS’ cheaper than most travel shows

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MANILA, April 4 (PNA) — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Tuesday assured that the cost of producing its newly-launched travel program “iTravel PINAS” on state-run PTV-4 will be much cheaper than shows in private TV channels.

Tourism Undersecretary for Media Affairs Kat de Castro said the agency will be spending much less since it is coordinating with regional directors as well as the private sector to assist them in their shoot.

“It’s our mandate to promote the Philippines and to go around, we just talk to our regional directors to make sure they hook us up with different hotels,” De Castro told the Philippine News Agency in an interview in Makati City.

“If we pay, it’s only for the team, the crew. The hosts don’t get paid because we host the show ourselves. If you compare it to other travel shows, iTravel PINAS is way cheaper,” she added.

She said that the agency is spending roughly PHP200,000 per episode or PHP9.6-million for a year.

Andanar’s request

De Castro, meanwhile, revealed that iTravel PINAS was born out of the request of Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar.

“Eto yung hiningi sa amin ni Sec. Martin Andanar — to come up with unique shows to help PTV-4 get viewers and kami yung nilapitan niya for it (This was what Sec. Martin Andanar was asking from us — to come up with unique shows to help PTV-4 get viewers and we were the ones he approached for it),” she said.

“They asked us what DOT can provide for PTV-4. Marami nang gumagawa (There are many channels making them) but the best source is still the DOT. Other travel shows write us a letter if we can help them and if that’s the case, we can make our own travel show,” she added.

De Castro said the DOT’s new program will also exert efforts to bridge underserved communities, especially those that can ride on tourism for economic growth.

“The shows main thrust is to promote the must-visit places within featured provinces including the potential, unexplored for tourism destinations as well as improvements made and ongoing developments,” De Castro said.

“iTravel PINAS will highlight the people’s genuine hospitality which is a unique and memorable experience every foreign visitors bring with them,” she added.

The program, which premiered last March 19 and 23, is a 30-minute travel magazine program that features both popular and offbeat destinations in the Philippines.

It airs on Sundays, 7 to 7:30 p.m. on PTV4, with snippets on Kilos Pronto every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.

In addition, two DOT television segments will also air in PTV-4’s “Kilos Program” namely Wonderful Pinas which airs on Mondays and will be hosted by Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo and Travel Pass which airs on Wednesdays.

De Castro said that the agency is currently developing the show in a digital platform so that viewers from all parts of the world can also watch the show for free with English subtitles.

In a separate interview, PTV-4 President and General Manager Dino Antonio Apolonio said the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed between PTV-4 and DOT to produce the show will last for a year.

“The initial contract is for a year,” Apolonio said but expressed hope that it would be renewed and upgraded in the following years.

“As we progress, the show itself could evolve from what it is now into something else. From a 30-minute show to maybe a one-hour show,” he added.

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