PHILIPPINES: An Innovation in Tourism Promotion.
Secretary of Tourism Joseph “Ace” Durano.
travel to the Philippines you do not have to go to
a travel agent. You could go to a café……….Travel
café Philippines………have a nice cup
of coffee together with pandesal, look at the wonders of the
Philippines, ask questions and text your travel agent to book
you a ticket. No hard selling here. It’s your heart
that would now make the decision. Indeed, this idea is a world’s
first and will be an award winning project in worldwide tourism.
Entering a café can now become your journey to the
Philippines. The first ever destination-themed Lifestyle Café,
Travel Café Philippines (TCP) had its Grand Launch
in Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center in Makati City on December 18,
2007 with a preview of the first TCP prototype in the same
The revolutionary concept of the TCP project is a pioneering
“branding initiative” for tourism promotions of
the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT). This has been
created to provide its diners with a sip of authentic Philippine
Coffee, a taste of local cuisine, an online booking facility
to travel around the country, a treat to Filipino music great
and design ingenuity of local artists, and a magnificent experience
of the Philippines. Indeed, TCP has been established as the
perfect venue to celebrate the rich and diverse Filipino culture
Spearheaded by the dynamic Philippine Tourism Secretary Joseph
“Ace” Durano, the DOT and the TCP’s objective
is to develop a unique and creative alternative to market
the country abroad. Secretary Durano considers the project
as his Blue Ocean, a term from a strategic marketing book
referring to developing uncontested market space in order
to achieve growth.
Inspired by the success of the first Travel Café Philippines
in Tokyo, Japan, Secretary Durano believes that franchising
TCP will create an outstanding global “brand”
for the country. Trendy, up-market areas in key cities or
in Central Business Districts will be the priority tourism
targets of the DOT. The project’s utmost aim is to establish
permanent Philippine presence in high visibility locations,
which should be primarily accessible to tourist customers.
This will target working professionals who have the interest,
propensity and capacity to travel.
Aside from the newly launched TCP in Greenbelt 5, another
prototype will open it doors in SM Mall of Asia and the SMX
Convention and Exhibition Center at the bay area in Manila
in January 2008. To fully strengthen the brand and capture
the target markets abroad, future endeavors include opening
TCPs in New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai, Singapore
and San Francisco, California by 2008.
Travel Café Philippines’ philosophy is coffee,
travel and more… This philosophy revolves around the
idea of promoting Philippine Coffee, encouraging travel to
the Philippines and engaging people to experience what’s
“more” on the country.
Who wouldn’t love to taste the rich, elegant Philippine
Coffee served with a yummy pandesal [Filipino style bread
roll] as its perfect companion? Indisputably, great tasting
coffees can only come from the Philippines. The travel-themed
Café will offer a distinctly Filipino beverage menu
in support of organically grown Philippine Coffee from the
different provinces of the country such as the Batangas Premium
Barako Blend, Bukidnon Monk’s Blend, Mount Matutum Coffee,
and Cordillera Mountains Coffee.
TCP will also introduce one of the rarest and most expensive
types of coffee in the world, the Coffee Alamid (Philippine
Civet Coffee). The Café is committed to supporting
Fair Trade, which ensures that every coffee bean served and
sold comes from local coffee farmers who were given the best
price for their produce.
Also, TCP will treat their diners to its fine dining menu
of authentic traditional Filipino cuisine served exquisitely
to suit international tastes. The Food Menu will offer a limited
but exclusive selection of soups, salads, pasta dishes, full
course meals, and desserts. To create the TCP’s signature
menu, Makati Skyline Inc., one of the premier names in the
food and beverage industry was commissioned by TCP to help
in the project.
To add a magical Pinoy twist in each local menu, Makati Skyline
Executive Chef Michel Le Teuff, who has worked in the kitchens
of Four Seasons Hotel, Sheraton International, now heads the
Kitchen Crew of the Travel Café Philippines. His love
for the rich flavorful taste of Filipino food has inspired
him to create a totally appetizing world-class menu. Furthermore,
the dinnerware and tableware used were especially made for
the TCP by ceramic artists like Lanelle Abueva Fernandez and
Clemens Wirth in order to enhance the presentation of the
TCP menu items.
But what makes TCP different from other cafés?
The advent of a Travel Shop right inside the Café
makes TCP unique. It will provide travel information on the
Philippines and a convenient facility for travel bookings
to the country. Either for leisure or for business trips,
anyone will surely find his way and get lured to the beautiful
destinations of the Philippines as the full-time Travel Concierge
manning the Travel Shop will answer all their queries about
traveling, dining, shopping, etc. in the country. TCP will
ensure that every inquiry from the customers will be converted
into actual bookings to the Philippines.
A Travel Library will be available as well to offer an extensive
collection of reference materials on the Philippines such
as maps, coffee table books, and guidebooks, among others.
Moreover, TCP will carry an exclusive line of merchandise
available for sale to anyone. This includes: the Coffee Alamid,
Philippine books, TCP Travel Music Menu by Sony BMG Philippines,
signature ceramic art pieces and dinnerware, and limited edition
A LOOK INTO TCP’s HISTORY
The brilliant concept behind TCP started in September 22,
2005 when it was introduced by Mr. Kazuyuki Goto of Travel
Café Co., Ltd. (a Japanese company specializing in
the operation of travel-themed cafes all over Japan) to the
Philippine Department of Tourism. Months after, DOT and Travel
Café Co., Ltd. signed a memorandum of agreement for
the establishment of a Travel Café Philippines in Tokyo.
In July 25, 2006, the very first Travel Café Philippines
opened in Iidabashi, Tokyo, Japan. From its opening day, TCP
in Tokyo has continuously received overwhelmingly positive
response from the Japanese market. Secretary Durano recognizes
this tremendous success and this has led him to expand the
TCP into a franchise business model operating it here in the
country and abroad. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Together with the DOT’s Project Team from the Philippine
Convention and Visitors Corporation (PCVC), headed by Ms.
Rosvi Gaetos, the Department of Tourism has partnered with
TravelnCuisine (TnC) Philippines, Inc., a company founded
by two of the leaders in the food and beverage industry, Makati
Skyline, Inc. (headed by Ms. Erlinda Sunico) and Travel Café
Co. Ltd. Japan (headed by Mr. Kazuyuki Goto) to manage and
operate Travel Café Philippines. TCP engages in strategic
partnerships with private entities to further strengthen and
build the brand.
And to assist in the development of the Travel Café
Philippines Operations Manual, the Department of Tourism commissioned
the leading Franchise consultancy firm in the country, the
International Franchise Corporation of the Philippines (FRANCOPH).
Their task is to set the standards for all the operational
aspects of TCP such as the architectural and interior design,
food and beverage menu, criteria for the selection of TCP
partners, among others.
CONCEIVING THE DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
Celebrating Filipino heritage and lifestyle will never be
complete without showcasing the brilliance of the country’s
artistry and craftsmanship. With the aid of world renowned
Interior Designer Budji Layug and Architect Royal Pineda who
lead TCP’s Design Team, the Travel Café Philippines’
design philosophy of a signature Filipino visual look—being
trendy, stylish, up-market yet distinctly Filipino—has
now been completely realized.
TCP has been transformed into a one grandiose masterpiece
integrating a mix of historical pieces and indigenous materials.
Their concept is to make use of three elements into the TCP’s
Total Design Approach: bamboo, weave (sinamay [woven abaca
fiber] and sawali [slices of bamboo that are manually woven]),
and the ancient Filipino calligraphy “Baybayin.”
People can move around freely inside the Travel Café
Philippines as this boasts of an expansive area where everyone
can enjoy, relax and chill out. Everyone will now get a glimpse
of traditional Philippine materials transformed into uniquely
After the huge success of Travel Café Philippines
in Tokyo, Japan and the newly launched prototype in Greenbelt
5, TCP is now geared up to expand not only in the country
but also worldwide. To achieve rapid global expansion, TCP
continues its quest in seeking potential Business Partners
here and abroad. The TCP Franchise Business Model aims to
establish a replicable model that is 80% Filipino and 20%
International; 60% coffee shop and 40% Philippine travel.
Committed to providing great food, world-class coffee and
exceptional customer service, Travel Café Philippines
will undoubtedly soon becomes a strong, successful global
brand. The world can now experience the rich heritage and
true Filipino identity of the Philippines in a totally new
light through the unique travel-themed café concept
of the Travel Café Philippines.
New Delhi here we come.
Congratulations to Secretary Durano and all those involved
in this project.