Philippines hires Kahn to promote safety, travel opportunities

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: The Philippine Department of Tourism has selected Kahn Travel Communications as its AOR as the islands renew promotional activities after years of marcomms silence.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: The Philippine Department of Tourism has selected Kahn Travel Communications as its AOR as the islands renew promotional activities after years of marcomms silence.

The nation, mired in internal political turmoil, has not had an external PR firm in more than a decade. But it tapped Kahn to lure tourists with a message of safety and niche travel opportunities.

However, The US State Department issued a travel warning in March, still in effect, that advises Americans to "consider carefully the risks of travel to the Philippines" due to the potential for terrorism attacks.

But Richard S. Kahn, president of the travel and tourism PR firm, said the State Department is extremely conservative with such warnings, and the agency is not concerned unless the department advises against traveling there.

"People must feel comfortable," Kahn said, so the agency would stress that the Philippines' comprise a huge country, and the key tourist areas have not been affected by political unrest.

Kahn described the agency's plan as broad-based, targeting opportunities in the mainstream, travel, and niche media.

"There is no better way to reach the consumer than through media outlets," Kahn said.

He also expects to team up with corporations and game shows for destination tie-ins.

Billings for the account, which runs through the end of 2006, are undisclosed. Three agencies were asked to put together proposals based on an RFP.

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