June 30, 2023 Cristina Lee-Pisco 324 views

WIDESPREAD support has poured in for the latest tourism campaign “Love The Philippines,” the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Thursday.

A release issued by the DOT said News5 reported that social listening tool Sprinklr recorded 59.1 million approval emotions from the public and a combined 28.9 million smile, happy, and appreciation emotions 24 hours or (as of 4:50 p.m. of June 29) following the unveiling of “Love the Philippines” slogan.

Former senator and Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon, who was among those given recognition during the 50th anniversary of the DOT and the brains behind the successful “WOW PHILIPPINES” campaign, manifested his support, saying he found the enhanced campaign “instantly appealing.”

News reports quoted him as saying that “Love the Philippines” is “catchy and easy to recall” and that the phrase “provides a double-meaning call for Filipinos to love the country more than just its physical wonders but also the people’s good traits.”

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Marykay L. Carlson, in a tweet expressed her support to “Love the Philippines” and manifested her personal love for the Philippines since she came here as diplomat.

“Almost one year since I arrived and I already have lots of reasons to #LoveThePhilippines—the food, the culture, and definitely the people,” she said.

National government officials have also conveyed their support to the enhanced tourism campaign.

“I love it!” Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri was quoted by a news report, complimenting the branding campaign as “clear and concise.”

Posting “Love the Philippines” on her Instagram, Senator Loren Legarda said there are countless ways to love about the country and expressed her full support to the newly launched campaign.

Former Senate President Pro Tempore and now House Deputy Speaker Ralph G. Recto, who described the Philippines as a destination like “garden of roses,” also aired his support through a statement.

Half into this year, the DOT has already recorded 2.67 million international visitor arrivals as of June 29, 2023, 2.44 million of these are foreigners. This year, the Department is targeting a baseline of 4.8 million international tourist arrivals.

South Koreans remain the top source of foreign markets with 665,757 travelers to the Philippines, followed by the United States (509,526), Australia (128,232), Japan (127,139), and Canada (123,439).

In 2022, the industry contributed 6.2 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) having churned in P1.87 trillion in tourism revenues.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco thanked the public and all officials who have given widespread support for “Love the Philippines” campaign.

In a separate online interview with Facts First with Christian Esguerra, veteran advertising executive Matec Villanueva shared the same observation.

“From the ground up, the first question is always: sino ba ang kinakausap ko? Who is my target audience? The target audience mo, in this case as I understand, would be foreign tourists kasi ang tiningnan din pala nila is yung kalaban in the regions,” Villanueva said. “So, what they are trying to do is that they are trying to encapsulate that message to something that is inspiring, something that is catchy. Therefore, they come up with what we call the big idea. But the big idea is actually based on a consumer insight or your target insight.”

To Frasco, the launch of “Love the Philippines” was based on the demands of the industry after the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. This, as what was once a global health emergency has changed travelers’ motivations, preferences, and behavior, leading to what is now referred to as “the changed traveler.”

“Love the Philippines” as a concept, Frasco said, was conceived with careful consideration of the results of extensive market research and studies.

Meanwhile, contrary to teh statement of Albay Representative Joey Salceda, another Albay congressman, Edcel Lagman, is fully supportive of the new DOT slogan.

Lagman called Salceda’s disenchantment as a “political soundbyte.”

Lagman wrote Frasco a letter signifying his support to the projects and programs of the DOT, particularly the “Love the Philippines” slogan.

“I fully agree with your observation that his criticism is obviously premature as the fresh tourism initiatives of DOT under your leadership are still in the process of unfolding and would equally promote all Philippine tourist attractions and destinations,” Lagman told Frasco.

Salceda has expressed disappointment over the exclusion of Mayon Volcano in the new campaign ads of DoT when it launched the new slogan, replacing the “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”

However. Lagman said the best argument against Salceda’s view on the supposed low priority accorded to the Mayon Volcano is the DOT’s resolve to address the lack of potable water supply at the Mayon Tourism Complex, including the newly renovated Mayon Skyline Hotel (formerly Mayon Rest House), which was funded upon his initiative.

Lagman thanked Frasco for the continuing annual appropriation for the improvement and maintenance of the Mayon Parks Road leading to the Mayon Tourism Complex.

“I am fully supportive of your reinvigorated program to best promote and sustain Philippine tourism,” he told the lady Secretary. With Jester Manalastas