Baguio City (20 November) — Hotel and Restaurants Association of Baguio president Anthony De Leon said that the new tourism slogan being proposed received so much criticism from the different sectors because even the tourism sector has not been consulted about it.
De Leon said the negative reaction of people and stakeholders is a direct result of the utilitarian decision to switch slogans without asking for opinions or recommendations of the stakeholders.
De Leon,who also heads the Baguio Tourism Council and the Baguio Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that the success of the “WOW Philippines” slogan can be attributed to a massive consultation and tourism stakeholders having a sense of ownership to the slogan as they were part of its crafting.
DOT Cordillera Tourism Regional Director Purificacion clarified that the release of the new tourism slogan last week was just a preview and a launching.
Molintas explained that the new slogan should be given a chance by the people. She added that in other countries, their local dialects are being used in the tourism promotion.
Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said last week that the new slogan is just a concept and still under study. “If the people, particularly the foreign market won’t like it, we can pull it out.” He said the slogan was a product of thorough research by the DOT.
The new slogan drew criticism from various sectors, which argued that it was not as imaginative as “Wow Philippines.” Critics called for the country’s eight-year-old tourism slogan, “Wow Philippines,” to be retained.
The slogan was removed from DOT’s tourism promotion website just one day after its launch last November 15 after it was severely panned by industry critics. “Bland,” “Lacks punch,” “Sounds dishonest” were among posts made on popular networking sites about the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” slogan.
Meanwhile, Baguio Congressman Bernardo Vergara, a respected tourism official before his political career, is supporting the old’ Wow Philippines’ tag line. He said it should remain because it has given the country the identity for the past years. (PIA)