Yay or nay?: Social media weigh in on ‘Love the Philippines’ new tourism campaign

June 28, 2023 - 12:51 PM
Photos of the Department of Tourism's launch for the tourism campaign "Love Philippines" and the speech of Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco during the event on June 27, 2023 (DepartmentOfTourism/Facebook)

The Philippines’ “enhanced” new tourism slogan garnered mixed interpretations and comments on social media.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) unveiled the new tourism campaign “Love the Philippines” on Tuesday, June 27, coinciding with the tourism agency’s 50th-anniversary celebration.

It replaces the beloved catchphrase “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” after more than a decade of inviting travelers to tour and visit the Philippines.

READ: No longer just for ‘fun’: DOT launches new ‘Love the Philippines’ campaign 

Launched in 2012, the latter has also sparked countless memes, social media posts, and online discussions, all of which formed part of local Internet culture.

In a statement during the event, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said that the new slogan recognizes the country’s “assets” beyond the “fun.”

“As we cap the last fifty years of the DOT and welcome this new era of tourism for the Philippines, it is but right that we welcome this opportunity to reintroduce the Philippines to the world,” Frasco said.

“Love the Philippines goes to the very heart of every single Filipino with the distinct grace and hospitality with which we welcome every guest that comes to our shores, our communities, and our homes. Love the Philippines is a recognition of our natural assets, our long and storied history, our rich culture and diversity,” she said.

How the public reacted online

Several Filipinos expressed support for the Philippines’ new branding.

“Lots of beautiful places to visit, delicious Filipino dishes. I [heart emoji] the Philippines,” a Facebook user said.

“Historically and culturally rich! I love the Philippines!” another Filipino commented on Facebook.

Other Filipinos, meanwhile, interpreted the mantra as forceful and demanding instead of encouraging.

“Demanding naman masyado bhe,” a Twitter user said.

“They’re now forcing everyone to love the Philippines because it’s not fun here anymore,” another Pinoy tweeted.

Some social media users also perceived it to be better if DOT added a comma, as in: “Love, the Philippines.”

“Mas maganda nga sana kung ‘Love, The Philippines’ parang love letter natin to the world pero gusto nilang palautos haha love me like you do,” a Twitter user said.

“This new slogan feels corny and forced. Siguro kung ginawa nilang ‘Love, the Philippines’ para may feels na liham siya. Mas personal ang dating. Without the comma, ‘Love the Philippines’ sounds palautos nga as the others have said,” a Redditor commented.

Other Filipinos, on the other hand, criticized the DOT and the government for constantly changing the Philippines’ tourism brand.

“Successful tourism campaigns are consistent; not changing all the time and have good recall. Example: ‘Incredible India; ‘Amazing Thailand,’” a Twitter user said.

Slogan tells ‘overall’ Philippine experience

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who graced the milestone event, congratulated Frasco and the DOT team on launching a campaign that invites visitors to have the “overall experience” of travel in the Philippines.

“Allow me then to express my sincerest appreciation to Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and for the DOT team, because aside from the promotion of the country’s tourist destinations, the campaign that you have conceptualized aims to enhance the overall experience of every travel, including in that list of targets is to promote regional products, build more infrastructure for the ease of travel, and champion green movements, among others,” Marcos said.

In her speech, Frasco also pointed out that the country’s destinations have “multiple facets,” hence, the need to ramp up tourism efforts.

“Indeed, if we are to compete with our neighbors in our effort as well to partner with them for Asia to become a powerhouse tourism region in the world, the time has come for us to add to the value proposition of the Philippines by telling the world how much more we have to offer,” she said.

“We have multiple facets of tourism destinations that present a golden opportunity for we have only scratched the surface thus far,” the DOT head added.