Tourism stakeholders in the Philippines are questioning the need for a new tourism slogan and branding after the unveiling of the country’s enhanced tourism campaign, Love the Philippines, yesterday at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Love the Philippines replaces the It’s More Fun in the Philippines campaign.
Tourism secretary Christina Garcia Frasco explained that “the world has noticed that there is so much to love about the Philippines”.
“As we usher in this golden era for tourism, for our fellow Filipinos, for our beautiful country, let us find it in our hearts to have that burning pride of place for the Philippines, to Love the Philippines, to usher us into the continued recovery and vigorous comeback of the Philippines to the world,” she said.
An official statement on the new branding explained that the new tagline allows the Philippines to “go beyond promoting the country as a fun destination, while still highlighting the enjoyable aspects”.
TTG Asia finds that reactions are mixed.
PATA Philippines Chapter president Maria Paz Alberto recognised the new slogan “as an opportunity to showcase our warmth, friendliness, and unwavering love for our industry. With endless optimism, we embark on this journey, ready to welcome visitors from all corners of the globe, and to offer them an experience they will never forget”.
“Through this new slogan, we aspire to highlight our genuine commitment to creating a friendly and inclusive environment for all, transcending cultural barriers and fostering understanding,” Alberto said.
On the other hand, travel expert Eleanor Ng, who’s been in the industry for over 20 years, found the new slogan “a bit too generic and lacks the impact that It’s More Fun in the Philippines had.
“I feel branding should have a distinct connection to the product. Do you see a connection?” asked Ng.
The DOT has in the past hinted that it wanted a brand change, but many in the industry had frowned upon the idea. Some countered that countries like Malaysia and Thailand have held onto their destination brands for a long time while maintaining their effectiveness.
Ng opined that the new tagline could have been launched with more support from the industry.
“Wouldn’t it work better if more people from the industry were sold on the idea, so that the push for the slogan would have a more solid support rather than a half hearted one?” she probed.
Jojo Clemente, president of Rajah Tours, commented on his Facebook page that “it may have been better if we asked them to Fall In Love with The Philippines”.
Comments on social media made in response to the new tagline reflect some division too. On DOT’s Facebook page, one commenter called for the creator of the tagline to be sacked, although the bulk of comments were in support of Love the Philippines.
On Twitter, commenters responding to The Philippine Star’s news report have criticised the new slogan for being generic, lacking in impact, and having a patriotic stance.
Elsewhere, commenters suggested that the tagline would have been better with a comma – Love, the Philippines – to show that the destination and its people have lots of love to give.