A marketing and advertising expert urged tourism officials to look into the post-pandemic relevance of the Philippines’s tourism campaign “It’s more fun in the Philppines” before any rebranding.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco earlier announced that the agency was planning a rebranding that would showcase Filipinos’ cultural strength and identity. 

In an interview with the “Facts First” podcast with Christian Esguerra, Ateneo de Manila University marketing and communications director Matec Villanueva said the implication of the change to the target market should be scrutinized. 

“Is the current brand ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ not resonating with the target market that they want? I hope they’re looking into that kasi mataas ‘yung trajectory niya e,” Villanueva said.

“Of course, all tourism just got killed from Covid. Maybe the thing to do is ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ still relevant? Is there a way of pivoting it?” she added. 

Villanueva said changing the campaign should include what consumers desire out of a brand.

“Like all good marketing brands, it’s never what we think of our brand but what the consumers want from our brand. When you’re a leader brand, dapat hinay-hinay ka. People really don’t like change,” she said.

“Change things that need to be changed and keep things that should be kept,” she added.


‘Politicizing PH tourism campaign not a big deal’

Nonetheless, politicizing the rebranding of the Philippines’ tourism campaign would matter to Filipinos but not much to foreign tourists, Villanueva said.

She said foreigners would not pay too much attention to possible political hues in the government’s efforts to promote tourism in the country.

“Political climate is very close to our hearts but, to the target market, they don’t really care,” she said. 

“Mabilis tayong ma-trigger when we see certain acronyms [pero] ‘yung mga turista na galing [sa ibang bansa], wala sa radar nila ‘yon,” she added.

From a marketing perspective, as long as the consumers see the proposition as beneficial to them, then the DOT may “knock themselves out” with their proposed plans.

“To me, whatever acronym they put in, from a marketing point of view, if it encapsulates the proposition [and] if the consumers are able to see that it is beneficial for them, then go knock yourself out. Maybe it’s going to work, why not ‘di ba?” Villanueva said.

I​​n a budget hearing at the House of Representatives last Aug. 31, Franco presented the projects the DOT would carry out under her leadership.

Included in the proposed projects is the “Bisita Be My Guest Program,” also called the “BBM Guest Program,” which will give incentives to overseas Filipino workers who will bring in visitors to the country.

As of Aug 7, 2022, the Department of Tourism has recorded 1.3-million foreign tourist arrivals, four months earlier than its initial projection. Andrei Joseph Duran and Maria Elijah