Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) – November 12, 2018 – 12:00am
CEBU, Philippines — Cebu tourism stakeholders applauded the decision of tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to retain the six-year-old tourism slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”
Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) tourism committee chairman Edwin Ortiz said the decision is commendable as the Philippines need to have a sustainable and consistent branding to maximize its tourism potential.
Over the years, the Philippines did not have a strong tourism brand recall, until recently.
During her recent visit to Cebu, Puyat reiterated her commitment to retain the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” branding, saying she believes in sustainability and continuity of good programs initiated by her predecessors regardless of political affiliations.
Originally coined by former DOT secretary and marketing man Ramon Jimenez in 2012 during the leadership of former President Benigno Aquino III, the branding has proven its good effects, Puyat said.
“Continuity is the key” said Puyat referring on the tagline’s retention which was nearly trashed in the earlier months of Duterte administration.
According to Ortiz sustainable branding of the Philippines has been the battlecry of the private tourism stakeholders. Today, the Philippines should stick on its positioning, as it is in the brink of losing its edge due intense competition among its Asian neighbors.
Likewise, hotelier Efren Belarmino said Cebu for one is able to leverage on the new branding tagline, with its colorful environment and warm and fun loving people, which perfectly makes the tagline alive and translating it to actual tourists’ experience.
During the brief stint of former DOT secretary Wanda Teo, she insisted on replacing the slogan to a fresher concept, claiming that “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign did not bring in more tourists to the country since its implementation in 2012.
Teo pushed for a budget of P650 million to introduce a new slogan, until she was asked to resign due to alleged corruption issues.
DOT launched “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign in 2012, replacing the “WOW Philippines” campaign started by then tourism secretary Richard Gordon in 2002.
The “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan became a worldwide trend back when it was first launched, with netizens sharing both their praises and criticisms in virtual space. (FREEMAN)