It’s more fun in PH Tourism official: It is wise to build on winning slogan

By Victor Anthony V. Silva |October 06,2016 - 10:58 PM
Members of the Filipino community and travel trade partners attend the London launching in 2012 of the Philippines tourism campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.” (Department of Foreign Affairs file photo)

Members of the Filipino community and travel trade partners attend the London launching in 2012 of the Philippines tourism campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”
(Department of Foreign Affairs file photo)

With tourism department seeing an increase in Europeans and North American visitors from January to July this year, a tourism official and a Cebu business leader said yesterday that it would be better to build around the current tourism slogan of “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” if this would be changed.

Ortiz, who also sits as a director in the DOT’s Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), cited the need to check arrivals from European and North American regions — areas where the campaign were conducted to attract visitors there.

“Figures I got show that versus January to July 2015, tourist arrivals of North Americans increased by 10 percent during the same period in 2016 and for Europeans, it increased by 20 percent,” said Ortiz.

He also said that the existing slogan proved to be very effective as measured by the huge increase of tourist arrivals ever since the slogan was used.

It has also won numerous local as well as international awards and most significantly, become a “people’s brand.”

Should the present slogan be changed, he said it would be wise to just build on the current one.

Ortiz said slogans of other countries like “Amazing Thailand” and “Malaysia, Truly Asia” stayed on for many years.

“Let’s hope that the new one will bring more impact and translate to even more tourist arrivals than the current Fun campaign,” he said.

Concrete plan

However, Edilberto Mendoza, Cebu Association of Tour Operators (CATO) president, said that the Department of Tourism should instead come up with concrete steps to entice more tourists to visit the country than change the tourism slogan.

Mendoza said that the current “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign has been effective in convincing tourists to come here since it started.

“The slogan is not bad at all. In a way, there has been an increase in the number of arrivals when we had this as a slogan. There is no need to change it actually,” Mendoza told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview yesterday.

He said what would be needed would be concrete and long-term plans to market the country abroad and to convince more foreigners to come here.

Thrust for change

Since 2012, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has been using the slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” to promote destinations in the country, but Tourism Secretary Wanda

Corazon Teo recently decided to use something more in tune with the Duterte administration’s thrust for “change” starting next year.

The DOT recorded close to 4.7 million tourist arrivals in 2013, which reflected a 9.56-percent growth rate compared to 4.27 million in 2012.

Since then, figures have increased by 3.25 percent in 2014 and 12.5 percent in 2015 as the country welcomed almost 5.4 million arrivals last year.

The Philippines posted an average annual growth rate of around 8.35 percent from 2013 to 2015, which is higher than the Asian average of 5 percent and global average of 4.5 percent.

Teo, in recent reports, said the current slogan was “appealing yet ineffective” especially among European and North American tourists.

AGB Nielsen survey

According to a recent AGB Nielsen survey conducted among foreign tourists in March to April this year, 65 percent of Europeans liked the slogan, but only 26 percent intend to visit the country based on the campaign.

Among North Americans surveyed, 72 percent thought the campaign was good, but only 45 percent were willing to visit the country after seeing the slogan.

Teo said it was about time to change the country’s tourism slogan since four years had been enough to measure its effectiveness.

The official said the new slogan is set to be announced in January 2017, in time for the hosting of the Miss Universe pageant here.

Mendoza said the DOT can always determine what tourists from countries in these regions want and come up with specific programs for them based on that information.

Cebu tourism officer

Cebu Provincial Tourism Officer Joselito “Boboi” Costas, meanwhile, said he has yet to see proof that the slogan was indeed ineffective outside the survey.

He said the respondents might have said they wouldn’t come to the Philippines based on “other reasons” and not just because of the campaign alone.

“In my personal experience, people I talked to when I’m out of the country speaking in conferences have this impression that the Philippines is not safe. They know it’s beautiful. I always tell them it’s safe,” said Costas.

He added that the “More Fun” slogan is very effective on social media because based on DOT-commissioned metrics, “fun” is one of the most frequently used words across the platform.

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