The newly launched enhanced tourism campaign, Love the Philippines, received great support from all corners.
According to a report by News5, the social listening tool Sprinklr recorded an incredible 59.1 million feelings of approval from the public and a combined 28.9 million smiles, happiness, and appreciation emotions during the last 24 hours, at 4:50 pm on Thursday ( June 29), in response to Love campaign in the Philippines.
Former Senator and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Richard Gordon, famous for his success “WOW PHILIPPINES” campaign, expressed his support, finding the enhanced campaign immediately appealing. He stated that Love the Philippines is catchy and easy to remember, highlighting its double meaning as a call to Filipinos to love the country beyond its physical wonders and to appreciate the good qualities of its people. . Gordon also pointed out that the campaign serves as a statement of appreciation for the Philippines experienced by tourists.
Ambassador of the United States to the Philippines, Mary Kay L. Carlson, also took to Twitter to show his support for Love the Philippines, citing his personal love for the country since his arrival as a diplomat. He mentioned the food, culture, and people as some of the reasons why he loves the Philippines.
National government officials also expressed their support for the enhanced tourism campaign. President of the Senate John Michael “Migz” Zubiri The branding campaign was enthusiastically praised, describing it as clear and concise, saying, “I love it!” Senator Loren Legarda showed his support by posting “Love the Philippines” on his Instagram, stating that there are countless ways to love the country. former Senate President Pro Tempore and now House Deputy Speaker Ralph G. Recto, likening the Philippines to a garden of roses, expressed his support through a statement, saying, “A rose by any other name smells as sweet. As a travel destination, the Philippines is a garden of roses. I support the new DOT campaign.”
Senator Grace Poe recognized the efforts of the Department of Tourism to attract more tourists to visit the Philippines. Senator Francis “Chiz” Squire urged the public to support the campaign instead of criticizing it.
The Love of the Philippines campaign has truly resonated with the public and garnered widespread support from government officials and the general population, paving the way for a bright future for tourism in the Philippines.
Tourism achievements in numbers
Until June 29, 2023, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has documented 2.67 million international visitor arrivals, of which 2.44 million are foreigners. This year, the DOT aims to reach the baseline of 4.8 million international tourist arrivals.
South Korea maintained its position as the leading foreign market, contributing 665,757 travelers to the Philippines. It is followed by the United States (509,526), Australia (128,232), Japan (127,139), and Canada (123,439).
By 2022, the tourism industry will account for 6.2 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), generating PHP1.87 trillion in tourism revenue.
DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Jar expressed his gratitude to the public and all the officials who showed widespread support for Gugma sa Pilipinas.
During a television interview, when asked if Love the Philippines is a “demand” from tourists, Secretary Frasco stressed that love cannot be demanded, because it is a natural sentiment that must come from the heart.
Regarding tourism, Secretary Frasco expressed optimism that the campaign, by showcasing the abundant assets of the Philippines, including natural wonders, heritage, traditions, and culture, will rekindle love for the country.
“You can’t ask for love. This is a natural feeling that should come from your heart. ‘Higugmaa ang Pilipinas’ can be heard by every Filipino who loves their country. Just as you cannot force someone to love themselves or others, love for country is a natural emotion that must come from within. We believe that by showing our love for our country through our new tourism tagline, we can rekindle the love for our country among our fellow Filipinos,” he said.
In addition, Secretary Frasco described the tagline as a “love letter to the world” of the Philippines. He emphasized that the Philippines has a lot to offer, including its heritage, culture, history, cuisine, unique experiences, and the genuine warmth of the Filipino people.
During a separate Facts First online interview with Christian Esguerra, advertising executive Matec Villanueva echoed similar sentiments.
“When starting from scratch, the first question is always: Who am I talking to? In this case, as I understand it, the target audience would be foreign tourists because they also consider the competition in the regions,” explained Villanueva.
“So, what they’re trying to do is wrap that message in something that’s inspiring and engaging. This is where the ‘big idea’ comes in. But, the ‘big idea’ is actually based on the perspective of consumers or in the eyes of the target audience,” he added.
Secretary Frasco stated that the launch of “Love the Philippines” was prompted by the needs of the industry following the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global health emergency has caused a change in travelers’ motivations, preferences, and behaviors, giving rise to what is now called the “changed traveler.”
The advertising executive also realized this in the enhanced tourism campaign
“After three years of lockdown, tourists have changed. Tourists before the pandemic are different from tourists after the pandemic. Their views have changed because, before the pandemic, people were traveling freely and enjoying life. Suddenly, everything came to a stop for three years,” shared Villanueva.
The construction of the concept of “Love The Philippines” involved the careful consideration of results from extensive market research and studies, according to Secretary Frasco.
Euromonitor, a leading provider of strategic market research, reveals that travelers are now looking for new and authentic experiences in the real world, seeking to immerse themselves in other cultures and seeking out the unique. or unique curated experiences.
In addition, travelers are looking for a connection to love, and the word “love” has long been associated with the Philippines. Brandwatch, a trusted social media monitoring and analytics platform, reports that the word “love” is the most talked about worldwide, with a total of 140.4K mentions (previously 92.24K) and a reach of 91.21M (previously 59.72M).
The enhanced tourism campaign is carefully designed to showcase the many aspects to love about the Philippines.
“We want to know what food they like, what destinations they like, and what experiences they like in the Philippines. This is also an opportunity for our friends from all over the world to discover more than what we have been selling before about the Philippines,” explained Secretary Frasco.
Villanueva also emphasized the role of research in modern advertising, saying, “In this era of communication, advertising is always based on research because of easy access to information and data. Apparently, the group that conceptualized the ‘ It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ also has supporting data for their launch. The Department of Tourism found that tourists who came to the Philippines not only met their expectations but exceeded them. When they analyzed social media and the internet, they discovered that people express their satisfaction and excessive expectations of the word ‘love.’
“The verbalization of happiness is ‘love,'” he added.