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To promote sustainability, DOT retains ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ campaign

As the department expects 8.2 million tourists this year, DOT Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat says that a stronger emphasis on environmentalism is shaping up to be the most practical move

Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism

Monday at the National Museum of Natural History saw the launch of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) new campaign, which featured a new logo and a repurposing of the slogan ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines.’ DOT Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat chose to retain the slogan, saying that as someone who “believes in continuity,” the tagline has proven to be particularly effective given that millions have been using it for seven years now. 

“The hashtag works; Filipinos have embraced it. We made it our own and we already had 4.3 people million using it so why not continue with what’s good? And if you look at other countries they never change their campaign. For Malaysia, it’s been Malaysia Truly Asia. In India, it’s been Incredible India.”

The tweaks, the repurposing efforts, or, as the department puts it, the “refreshed” aspects, of the campaign include the following: The slogan is now set in a typeface called Barabara, a new customized font inspired by hand-painted signs around the metro; the logo features a weave design that derives from traditional Ifugao weaving techniques; the new promotional video is a compilation of 100 percent crowdsourced photos and videos (in return, the DOT has promised to donate $10 for every crowdsourced photo, on behalf of the photo or video owner, to the World Wide Fund for Nature).

With relatively minimal design changes and a deliberate effort to crowdsource all promotional materials, the DOT has used significantly less carbon footprint in launching their campaign—a move that, as Romulo-Puyat says, is in line with the agency’s aim to promote sustainability.

“After all, working with whatever we already have is the essence of sustainability,” she added.

Besides being built into the approach of the campaign launch, the principles of sustainability, environmentalism, and responsible tourism are also reflected in the slogan. 

“When we think of the word ‘fun’ these days, it’s been redefined. We can now think of having fun as saving the environment. Travelers are becoming more conscious about their ecological footprint and the cultures they’re consuming—they want to know how they can give back [to the environment],” said Romulo-Puyat.

With relatively minimal design changes and a deliberate effort to crowdsource all promotional materials, the Department of Tourism has used significantly less carbon footprint in launching their campaign—a move that, as Berna Romulo-Puyat says, is in line with the agency’s aim to promote sustainability.

Besides serving as a site for refocusing the tourism industry’s goals, the launch also provided an opportunity for the DOT to detail their ongoing projects as the talk gradually swerved into more topical territory. Questions about the six-month Boracay closure and other tourist site rehabilitation projects were directed at Romulo-Puyat and Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, who, for their part reiterated that a strict adherence to environmental laws (something that’s evident in Boracay now) is the key to rehabilitation. 

Last year, serious environmental concerns forced Boracay’s hospitality and F&B establishments to halt operations, which, among many other things, led the DOT to miss their target of 7.4 million tourists by about 300,000 (Boracay is responsible for about one-fifth of the country’s tourist arrivals). As the department expects 8.2 million tourists this year, Romulo-Puyat says that a stronger emphasis on environmentalism is shaping up to be the most practical move:

“Of course we have to strike a balance between business opportunities and our social responsibilities. If we don’t take care of the environment, then there will be no tourist spots in the future. We believe that we have to take care of our tourist destinations and make them clean because all over the world people want to go to tourist destinations that are clean, those that follow environmental laws, and those that respect the environment.”

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