The paper “ The WOW Philippines Website - Purpose and Business Model, Target Market, Branding, Site Construction, and Traffic-Building" is a worthy variant of a case study on marketing. This report examines the main website of the Philippines Department of Tourism, the WOW Philippines website. With regard to the importance of tourism to the country and the growing market of ‘ independent travelers’ who use the Internet to research and plan their own leisure travel, the website is well-designed to attract attention and promote a positive brand image for the Philippines.
In design and concept, it compares favorably to the website of the Ministry of Tourism of Malaysia, which has a much larger tourism industry than the Philippines. Yet despite the good ideas represented by the WOW Philippines website, there seem to be problems in execution, and the recommendation is for better management of website maintenance and content updating. The WOW Philippines Website: Purpose and Business ModelTourism is a critical component of the Philippine economy, accounting for about 8.8% of the nation’ s GNP, second only in importance to remittances from overseas Filipino workers as a source of foreign currency.
(Lagman, 2008) For practically all of those foreign visitors the Internet is the sole source of information about the Philippines, and so the WOW Philippines website, managed by the Philippines Department of Tourism, is the most important marketing and promotional tool for the industry. One way to define a business model is as a plan of how value in a customer-driven marketplace can be generated. (Joyce and Winch, 2004, and Keen and Qureshi, 2006) The concept of value is what makes it possible to identify a business model for the WOW Philippines website and separates it from a simple information portal.
Many definitions of business models, for a website or otherwise, require some sort of transaction: sales of a product, service, or information. (Dreisbach, 2000, and Lai, Weill, and Malone, 2006) The WOW Philippines website like most websites is a hybrid of several different models (Parsons, n.d. ) and resists a single, simple categorization. Clearly, the purpose of the website is to promote tourism in the Philippines and attract visitors from other places. It generates value in a product – which is, essentially, the country itself – in several ways: As a general information portal – The website contains a large amount of information relevant to travelers, such as about the climate, transportation to and within the country, the currency and exchange rates, legal requirements such as visas, and other matters of basic safety and convenience. As a portfolio site (Parsons, n.d. ) – The website is a kind of electronic brochure for the country, promoting the various natural and cultural features of the Philippines.
It is not really selling anything per se in this mode, but rather trying to influence customer decisions. As direct advertising in support of an industry or specific businesses – The website devotes a part of its space to taking the portfolio function to a higher stage by advertising specific items for sale – in this case, package tours – and providing links to affiliated tour companies where the actual transaction will occur.
Depending on the arrangement between these particular companies and the Department of Tourism, the website might actually be serving as a different kind of model in this case, a broker matching buyers and sellers for a fee, which is usually paid by the seller.
This is not obvious from viewing the website, however, and so that presumption cannot be made.