By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco (PNA file photo by Rey Baniquet)

MANILA – Nearly 900 local government units and stakeholders across the country have so far adopted the “Love the Philippines” campaign, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Thursday.

In her remarks during the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) general meeting in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco confirmed anew that the country will carry the slogan amid the previous issue with the advertising agency that conceptualized the campaign.

“Love the Philippines is an effort on the part of our national government to remind our fellow Filipinos that there is so much to love about our country. We are only one of the 18 mega biodiverse destinations in the world. We are a treasure trove of heritage, history, culture and the creative arts,” she said.

She said the campaign is a call to action to highlight “that if we love our country, we will herald the best of the best of our destinations”.

“To love the Philippines is to ask the difficult questions, to try to understand what we can do to introduce difficult but helpful solutions to programs and projects that have never been done before, but are being implemented now as our response to global tourism trends,” she said.

Frasco said nearly 900 local government units and stakeholders all over the Philippines “have expressed this deep love for the Philippines” by adopting the slogan in their own local destinations.

She called on stakeholders present to join the movement and “localize” the campaign in their towns.

“We love our country. We all love the Philippines. And it is this deep love for our country that will propel us and give us the daring to say that the Philippines deserves a much more primary position in Asia and the world as a tourism powerhouse,” she said.

The DOT terminated its contract with advertising agency DDB Philippines after discovering that it used stock footage shot abroad in the new tourism campaign video.

The advertising firm publicly apologized, saying it is taking full responsibility for the non-original materials used in the now-deleted video.

The DOT adopted “Love the Philippines” as the country’s new tourism campaign slogan in June, replacing the decade-old “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”.

The new branding is in line with the Marcos administration’s goal to showcase the “Filipino brand” while reinvigorating the tourism sector after reeling from the pandemic.

Frasco said the industry continues to show “robust recovery” and has already recorded over 3.6 million in international arrivals, inching closer to the targeted 4.8 million foreign visitors by end of 2023. (PNA)