Nov. 19, 2010



MANILA — The local tourism industry appeared unimpressed with the new Philippine tourism slogan “Pilipinas Kay Ganda,” which the government launched on Monday in a bid to lure more foreign visitors to the country.

According to Alejandra Clemente, president of the Federation of Tourism Industries of the Philippines Inc. (FTIP), the Department of Tourism (DOT) should have thought of a catchier phrase that would get the attention of the international market.

“The slogan did not ignite much excitement. Maybe they rushed in coming out with a new brand. But what we need is something that would create a great impact,” she said.

Clemente said she had the impression that the latest tourism promo was simply lifted from the “WOW Philippines” that really stirred the foreign market and generated a lasting impression.

“Although DOT did not use it too much in their marketing campaign in the past years, WOW Philippines is still being remembered.

Because in the beginning of the campaign, it was wow...impressive,” she said.

In an online forum, many bloggers also aired disappointment over the new slogan, saying it was unimaginative and unlikely to connect with foreign tourists.

Clemente pointed out many foreign countries do not change their tourism slogans.

Clemente though said the tourism industry would be willing to support the DOT’s efforts and programs to overcome the negative impression of the country that discouraged many tourists from visiting the country.

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said the new brand focused on the beauty of the country and was reflective of the hope and optimism of the new Aquino Administration.

Even before the new slogan came about, Lim clarified the centerpiece of the country’s marketing campaign was “still a work in progress” since the tourism industry’s inputs would be considered to strengthen it.

Lim conceded the tourism sector had a negative impression and was resistant to the new slogan, which he said was a “radical departure from what our neighbors are doing.”

While every country is trying to own an English word or phrase as a brand description to promote itself, Lim said the Philippines decided to use the vernacular to express national pride and rise above the competition.

Lim explained the new concept adhered to the criteria of Simon Anholt, foremost authority on nation branding, that positioning a country’s brand or image should highlight attributes differentiating it from other nations while being relevant and believable.

The new brand carries both visual and verbal idioms of how beautiful the Philippines is through the tagline “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” and a colorful logo that incorporates the coconut tree, sun and tarsier to depict the country’s unique tropical beauty and its people’s sunny disposition.

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