How Philippine MSMEs in the Tourism Industry Engage their Customers Using Digital Marketing: A Content Analysis        




The travel and tourism sector plays a crucial role in global economic growth and employment. In the Philippines, it accounts for 22.5% of the country’s gross domestic product and provides employment for 9.5 million people. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the sector, leading to job losses and economic setbacks. Despite these challenges, Baguio, Boracay, and Siargao continue to be the top travel destinations in the country in 2020. In response to the pandemic, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in these destinations have embraced digital marketing strategies to enhance visibility and aid in post-pandemic recovery efforts.

This study focuses on analyzing the websites of MSME hotels and resorts in these top Philippine travel destinations, examining their online presence, social media engagement, and consumer interaction. Drawing extensively from the methodology employed by Webster et al. (2021) in their investigation of Australian SMEs, a content analysis approach is employed, placing particular emphasis on a ten-question website content observation checklist. Specifically, this study examines touchpoint channels, touchpoint activation, consumer engagement reporting, and website SEO application. By building upon this framework, the research aims to deepen our understanding of these factors within the context of Philippine MSMEs.

The findings indicate that Boracay and Siargao exhibit stronger online presence and engagement across various dimensions, while Baguio shows room for improvement in terms of its digital and social media presence, as well as consumer engagement activities. These insights provide valuable guidance for optimizing digital strategies and enhancing engagement efforts in the respective destinations.