Overwhelming Public and Celebrity Support for DOT’s “Love the Philippines” Campaign

The Department of Tourism’s (DOT) recently launched enhanced tourism campaign, “Love the Philippines,” has garnered widespread acclaim and approval from the public and prominent personalities within just 24 hours of its release.

According to a report by News5, the social listening tool Sprinklr recorded an astonishing 59.1 million approval emotions from the public, with an additional combined 28.9 million expressions of smile, happiness, and appreciation associated with the “Love the Philippines” campaign as of 4:50 PM on Thursday, June 29.

Former Senator and DOT Secretary Richard Gordon, renowned for his successful “WOW PHILIPPINES” campaign, expressed his immediate support, describing the enhanced campaign as “instantly appealing.” Gordon emphasized the tagline’s catchy and easy-to-recall nature, applauding its double-meaning call for Filipinos to love the country beyond its physical wonders, appreciating the good traits of its people and acknowledging it as a statement of gratitude for the experiences of tourists in the Philippines.

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Marykay L. Carlson also joined the chorus of support for “Love the Philippines,” expressing her personal affection for the country through a tweet. She shared, “Almost one year since I arrived, and I already have lots of reasons to #LoveThePhilippines—the food, the culture, and definitely the people.”

National government officials have not been shy in conveying their support for the campaign. Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri praised it, calling the branding campaign “clear and concise.” Senator Loren Legarda expressed her full support on Instagram, emphasizing the countless reasons to love the country. House Deputy Speaker Ralph G. Recto, likening the Philippines to a “garden of roses,” endorsed the campaign, stating, “I support the DOT’s new campaign.”

Senator Grace Poe acknowledged the DOT’s efforts to attract more tourists, while Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero encouraged the public to support the campaign rather than criticizing it outright.

Tourism Achievements in Numbers

Amidst the outpouring of support, the DOT has already recorded 2.67 million international visitor arrivals as of June 29, 2023, with a target of 4.8 million international tourist arrivals for the year. South Koreans remain the top source of foreign markets, followed by the United States, Australia, Japan, and Canada.

In 2022, the tourism industry contributed 6.2 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), generating PHP 1.87 trillion in tourism revenues. DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support and appreciation.

“Love the Philippines”: A Love Letter to the World

Addressing questions about whether “Love the Philippines” is a demand from tourists, Secretary Frasco clarified that love is not something demanded but a natural emotion that must emanate from the heart. She emphasized that the campaign aims to reawaken the love for the country by reflecting its bountiful assets, from natural wonders to heritage, traditions, and culture.

Secretary Frasco described “Love the Philippines” as the country’s “love letter to the world,” offering international tourists an opportunity to discover and know more about the Philippines. The campaign goes beyond past promotions focused on fun, showcasing the depth of the Philippines, including its heritage, culture, history, food, experiences, and the warmth of the Filipino people.

In an interview, veteran advertising executive Matec Villanueva affirmed that the launch of “Love the Philippines” was grounded in extensive market research. Travelers today seek new and authentic real-world experiences, with a desire for connection and love, a term frequently associated with the Philippines.

Secretary Frasco emphasized that the campaign was designed to highlight more of what there is to love about the Philippines, encouraging foreign friends worldwide to discover the richness that goes beyond the surface.

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