THE country’s “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” tourism campaign was relaunched on Monday, February 18, by the Department of Tourism (DOT).
The repurposed campaign, which would now use crowd-sourcing in a bid for “sustainable tourism”, meant to attract more tourists.
It was propelled by Boracay’s six-month closure, in an effort to rehabilitate the world-famous tourist spot after it was destroyed by pollution and violations on environmental laws.
“We can have fun at the same time we protect the environment. This is not mere continuity, this is sustainability. This (campaign) aims to repurpose fun into sustainability,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in a speech during the relaunch at the National Museum of Natural History, DOT’s previous home.
According to Puyat, the crowd-sourced tourism materials through social media were the key aspects of the revamped campaign as the DOT saw at least 4.3 million locals and foreigners using the tagline in their photos and videos.
She also said that the campaign’s popularity has brought millions to the Philippines and prompted the dissemination of photos, videos, and comments online showing why “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”
“This [is] a campaign by the tourists. It will focus mainly on real people and real experiences as more travelers become conscious about their ecological footprints and cultures they are consuming and wanting to know how they can give back,” Puyat said.
The tourism campaign was first launched in 2012. It was met with mixed response from netizens, with some pointing out that the tagline was ripped off from a 1951 Swiss tourism slogan.
The improved ad gave up the Harabara font for the new Barabara font, based on the jeepney signage typography.
The font will be open sourced and available for download by anyone to create their Philippine tourism content.
The new ad also brandishes a new logo — a weave of local textiles in different colors that represent “uniquely Filipino products.”
Puyat, when asked why she has decided to continue the campaign instead of embarking on a new one, said, “I actually believe in continuity. In other countries, they never change their campaign. In Malaysia, it’s been ‘Malaysia Truly Asia.’ In India, it’s been ‘Incredible India.’ I am the third Tourism secretary to use the hashtag. I believe it’s because it works. The Philippines has embraced the hashtag. We’ve made it our own. Why not continue what’s good?”
For every post on the internet, the government will be donating $10 dollars to the international World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in a bid to preserve beaches mountains and wildlife in the country, according to Puyat.
“It’s but fitting that whatever we pay, it goes back to the environment as we promote sustainability,” she said.
Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, for his part, said the government would strike a balance between visitor demand and protecting the environment to avoid a repeat of what happened to Boracay.
“We have to strike a balance between business opportunities and responsibilities to our environment. If we don’t take care of the environment there will be no tourist destinations,” said Año during the launch press conference.