Tourism office told to drop slogan, tap Pacquiao

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010


MANILA -- Several lawmakers on Wednesday hit the new slogan of the Department of Tourism (DOT), advising the agency to drop it and tap Sarangani Congressman Manny Pacquiao as its endorser to better promote the Philippines.

Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay said Pacquiao is the only Filipino personality who is known globally to the point that he was tapped as an endorser by a senator from the United States.

Magsaysay believed that Pacquiao can do "a good job of selling the country" than the new slogan, "Pilipinas Kay Ganda," of the Tourism department.

The new slogan was introduced recently, replacing the "Wow, Philippines!" shoutout.

However, several lawmakers said there was no need to drop the previous slogan, as the new one would only confuse tourists who cannot understand Filipino.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said the new catchphrase is not even strong enough to entice visitors in the country. He said it paled in comparison to "Incredible India" and "Amazing Thailand."

Zubiri also noted that the DOT cannot even air its ads using the slogan on international television.

"I think somebody was drinking on the job. I don't think they thought this out very well," he said.

Senator Loren Legarda also hit the new DOT campaign, saying there was no need to revise the "Wow, Philippines!" slogan.

She also noted that the website for the new campaign leads to a pornographic site. The website, which received criticism on the Twitter social networking site, has been taken down.

"We should ask ourselves what is wrong with the present slogan. There's nothing wrong with it except that it does not really rings some interest," said minority leader Edcel Lagman.

For Lanao del Norte Representative Aliah Dimaporo, the slogan should be understandable to foreigners.

"From marketing standpoint, it needs to be improved to translate what the Philippines can offer to our tourists and what we are known for are our national resources," she said.

Former DOT Secretary Ace Durano said the new slogan should be measured by its effectiveness to accomplish its objective.

"What's the tourism objective of this slogan? Secondly, will the slogan achieve this objective? Tourism stakeholders are in a better position to answer these questions," Durano told Sun.Star.

Lagman, meanwhile, called on the Pacquiao camp to consider holding the boxing champ's next fight here in the country.

"It would be a tremendous boost to Philippine tourism should Pacquiao decide to hold his next fights here," Lagman said, citing the recent ticket sales during the Pacquiao-Margarito fight that nearly filled Cowboys Stadium in Texas and peaks the pay-per-view sales.

He noted that Pacquiao has loyal foreign followers who would not hesitate to come to Manila to see him fight.

"The only other thing we have to ensure for this to be a foolproof formula is to guarantee the safety of our tourists," the Minority Leader added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)

Local news

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