Philippines’ new tourism slogan encourages love for country

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The Philippines is ready for a fresh start as the Department of Tourism (DOT) finally unveils the new tourism slogan: “Love The Philippines,” a testament to how this country calls out to anyone who has a thrill for adventure, captivating beauty, and the embrace of a newfound home.

After 11 years of sporting the iconic “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” the new slogan was unveiled at DOT’s 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Manila Hotel. Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco emphasizes that this slogan is also a “call to action” towards Filipinos and international citizens alike to discover and explore the Philippines with the numerous things it has to offer.

Despite being a slogan, this change has brought new heights and challenges for the country’s tourism department. While the country has countless destinations lined up for travelers, there are plenty of places left undiscovered yet well-maintained by the locals. The DOT also hopes that this new slogan will bring attention to other places that are not particularly highlighted in past tourism campaigns.

They also wanted to showcase a more Filipino brand– and the “Love The Philippines” slogan encapsulates what it takes to become a country full of love, natural wonders, an enticing history, and our unique cultural footprint.

In the modern era, travelers have begun to change their preferences and the experiences that they seek whenever they go out of their comfort zone. Most people look for more scenic yet calm destinations while others tend to go to the undiscovered sites and take their exploration to new heights. As these preferences evolve, the DOT also adjusts to recent travel trends.

This branding, if effective, will showcase the Philippines’ hidden beauty and the love within its people. Marie Adriano, the brand and strategic planner from the marketing firm Doyle, Dane, and Bernbach (DDB) Philippines, explained that there is a positive association to travelers when it comes to the word love– a longing and caring feeling, one laced with newfound affection.

However, recent controversies surrounding the usage of stock footage in the slogan’s promotional video campaign drew flak from the netizens. The video contained footage shot from various countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates, as per the Agence France-Presse’s fact-checking arm.

The DOT’s creative arm, DBB, has spoken up about the stock footage issue, saying that it is a “standard practice in the industry.” They defended the usage, for the video’s intention is to be a “mood video” to attract and excite internal stakeholders for their tourism campaign. The whole campaign, including the slogan, utilized a ₱49M fund in total. Due to this controversy, the contract between DBB and DOT has been terminated, seeking accountability for the issue.

These developments have drawn mixed reactions from netizens, especially regarding the credibility of the DOT, the authenticity of the slogan, and its effects on the dwindling tourism in the country. This slogan is also created to honor the Filipinos, for their hospitality and love have bound the Philippines and continuously embraced citizens from all over the world with their big hearts. It is only right that its creation should be as genuine as its intention.

Contributed by Princess Friel Lontoc

Featured photo courtesy of PNA

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