May 22, 2024

Recently, the Department of Tourism released its campaign slogan along with an audio-visual presentation in celebration of the agency’s 50th founding anniversary. Unfortunately, it received massive backlash from netizens.
Upon the release of the slogan “Love the Philippines”, Filipinos were divided as some loved it and some did not. According to some netizens, the tagline was blunt and not impactful to represent the Philippines’ beauty and attraction.
According to journalist Howie Severino, a simple comma would change the tone from a blunt command to a gentle declaration of affection from us to the rest of the world, and that it is a slight but meaningful revision that would cause no one to lose face.
Slogan campaigns play a key role in advertising the tourism of one’s country. In the statistical data, the “Wow Philippines” slogan from 2002 to 2010 recorded an average of 2.61 percent annual visitors while the “It’s more fun in the Philippines” slogan from 2012 to 2023 recorded 5.56 percent annual visitors. It is obvious “It’s more fun in the Philippines” was more successful, but it was plagued with plagiarism issues and also received mixed reactions among Filipinos.
The recent promotional video was called out by netizens as the clips used were that of different countries: Rice terraces in Bali, Indonesia; a fisherman in Thailand, an airport in Switzerland, and sand dunes in Dubai.
The agency should be the frontline in promoting the tourism of the country. Instead, it is facing such issues, making lawmakers question not just the credibility of the advertisement but also possible legal actions due to plagiarism.
House Deputy Minority Leader Rep. France Castro said the use of deceptive stock footage by the DOT is not only a disservice to Filipinos but also to foreigners who may be misled into believing the images represent the beauty and attraction of the country.
Furthermore, the video was taken down by DOT in all of their social media platforms after it received criticisms.
Slogans and promotional videos are just a bit of what the tourism industry can offer and a factor in influencing visitors. People should still understand other factors such as services, transportation, weather, and accommodation. But as main tourism agency, the DOT should be vigilant and mindful of its plans as tourism does not just represent the country’s attractions but also the people, culture, and other things the Philippines can offer.