On the celebration of the golden year of the Department of Tourism (DOT), President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., together with Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and other officials, led the unveiling of the country’s enhanced tourism campaign “Love the Philippines” as the highlight of the Department’s 50th founding year celebration at the iconic Manila Hotel, Tuesday (June 27).
Proudly presenting “Love the Philippines” to a crowd composed of former DOT chiefs, officials and employees of the Department’s central and regional offices, heads of government agencies including Cabinet Secretaries, house representatives, tourism stakeholders, and the media, Secretary Frasco described the enhanced campaign as timely for the DOT’s golden anniversary celebration.
“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,” Secretary 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 into 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, while noting that there is so much more to the country than “the fun and adventure” that has so far been articulated.
“The Philippines is a powerhouse of mega biodiversity, being only one of 18 mega biodiverse countries in the world, a deep well of culture and history, a profound burst and taste of flavor and gastronomy, a tapestry of indigenous peoples and creative communities by whose work of their hands have safeguarded the dignity and integrity of the Filipino identity. This is who we are. These complexities and nuances of the Philippines have yet to be fully articulated to the world for indeed, the story of the Filipino has yet to be fully told, and we shall tell that story by telling them the story of love. Love the Philippines,” Secretary Frasco said.
PBBM’s unequivocal support
Gracing the milestone event for Philippine tourism, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. expressed his utmost support for “Love the Philippines”, saying that the enhanced tourism campaign “springs from the genuine love that you, me, and all of us have for the Philippines.”
“And what better way to express that love than by directly incorporating it into our country’s newest tourism campaign slogan, Love the Philippines. This new branding which we unveil today, will serve as our guidepost for the Philippine tourism industry moving forward. 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, included in that list of targets are to promote regional products, build more infrastructure for ease of travel, and champion green movements, among others,” the President enthused.
Adjusting to the post-pandemic tourism landscape and changing trends
With the ever-changing global tourism landscape post-pandemic, and the growing desire of travelers for more immersive experiences in their travels, the DOT viewed the enhanced brand as a timely response to the demands of the industry.
In a recent survey conducted by the United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO) among its member countries, market repositioning, and rebranding strategies are among the priorities identified after the pandemic based on its Survey Findings on Member Priorities for UNWTO program of work 2024-2025.
With an enhanced tourism campaign in tow, the DOT’s focus now is to show more of what there is to “Love the Philippines” as it works towards the realization of President Marcos, Jr.’s vision for the country to become a tourism powerhouse in Asia.
“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,” Secretary Frasco said.
“We have multiple facets of tourism destinations that present a golden opportunity for we have only scratched the surface thus far,” she added.
Rosy prospects for Philippine tourism
According to Secretary Frasco, the world has “the world has noticed that there is so much to love about the Philippines.”
This, as the Philippines has recorded 2,641,993 visitors from January 1 to June 26, 2023, and is close to breaching the 2.65 million arrivals it recorded for 2022.
Further, the tourism sector is regarded as a stalwart as far as contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) is concerned. According to the 2022 Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA) the Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) share of the sector to the Philippine economy, as measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was estimated at 6.2 percent and amounted to PHP 1.38 trillion in 2022.
The Philippines is also seeing a boost in tourism-related enterprise employment, with 5.35 million estimated tourism employment last year.
As she rallied their support for the DOT’s vision of showcasing the best of the Philippines to the world under the Marcos administration, the Secretary said: “As we usher in this golden era for tourism, for our fellow Filipinos, for our beautiful country, let us find it in our hearts to have that burning pride of place for the Philippines, to Love the Philippines, to usher us into the continued recovery and vigorous comeback of the Philippines to the world.”