NEW York was a ghost town as an aftermath of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Thanks to an aggressive tourist promotion, inspired by a catchy slogan, “I Love NYC,” the city bounced back with a vengeance and today it’s the leading tourist destination in the United States.

The Philippines should come up with a slogan of its own to lure tourists into its shores and counter the adverse travel advisories issued by several countries on Philippine travel.

The Department of Tourism went to work but came out with a limp slogan, “Pilipinas Kay Ganda,” that was laughed out of the door before it could do more damage to the tourist industry.

President Benigno Aquino III did right when he junked the sophomoric concept and ordered a committee to coin a better catch phrase.

Why not launch a worldwide contest for a new slogan with a modest prize of complimentary international or domestic plane tickets for two for the winning entry?

Otherwise, stick to “WOW Philippines,” which has done a world of wonders for Philippine tourism since it was implemented under the previous Arroyo administration under the auspices of then DOT Secretary and former Sen. Richard Gordon.

Don’t knock it just because it bore the imprint of a political enemy.

President Aquino has won goodwill by discarding the new childish brand without a brain.

Before “WOW Philippines,” the Marcos administration had its own well-turned catch phrase, “Where Asia Wears a Smile,” launched by then Tourism Secretary Jose D. Aspiras as highlight of the Philippine hosting of the Miss Universe contest in Manila.

We are sure new Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim will be up to the challenge to do a catchier slogan the second time around.

If all else fails, what about “WOW Pacquiao?”

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