Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fretting Over the New Tourism Slogan

What would come to the mind of someone foreign to our language when you say "Pilipinas Kay Ganda"? What would you think if someone told you "Decorus Italy?" Nothing would come to your mind but confusion. But if you say "Wow Philippines" it automatically create something of beauty in the mind.

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim cited “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” as reflective of the optimism being represented by the new administration. “The new Philippine brand will be the centerpiece of our tourism promotional programs and advertising campaigns in the years to come. It is in keeping up with the President’s philosophy of public-private partnership” and "it is reflective of the optimism being represented by the new administration," said Lim.

He said that "although the brand had elicited mixed reactions because of its radical departure from what is currently done by neighboring countries; it is relevant, distinctive, and believable." But did he ponder why the neighboring countries used beautiful brand such as Malaysia. Truly Asia, Incredible India, Amazing Thailand, Uniquely Singapore? They were products of research that should attract the mind of a foreigner to automatically create hunger of what the place has to offer.

Lim is hopeful that by using the vernacular language for the tagline, every domestic and foreign tourist will tend to mouth the phrase in same way Hawaii has successfully popularized the expression “Aloha” in a global scale. He said that “the real challenge is how to make the Philippines attain a competitive identity that differentiates it from what our neighbors are claiming to be. We need to be more daring in expressing our brand, if we are to rise above the clutter."

So what is Lim trying to popularize there? "Kay Ganda?" The Philippine Airlines is already ahead of Lim with their in-flight magazine "Mabuhay".

I believe the neighboring countries are way ahead of us in their tourism promotion. With our new slogan, I believe the only people we can attract to come home are our "kababayan."

If we want to create craving in the minds of foreign people, we should use the universal language that is understood by the very people we want to attract. And of course should rhyme with the name of our country.

I would prefer "Pristine Philippines" because it will not only create a craving for a beautiful and quite place, it will also contest the notion planted in the foreigners' minds that Philippines is not a safe place for tourists.

Or we can just retain Wow Philippines, or perhaps we should change our Tourism secretary.

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