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MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism‘s “It’s more fun in the Philippines” campaign won the Readers’ Choice for the “Fun” category at the Yomiuru Advertising Award 2013 held last June 14 in Tokyo, Japan.
The Yomiuri Advertising Award began in 1984 as a way of allowing readers of Yomiuri Shimbun, a national newspaper in Japan, to participate in the selection of the best advertisements.
The award is composed of two main categories: advertisements created by readers and advertisements chosen by readers.
DOT’s award-winning campaign was launched in January 2012 and has generated much buzz because of how it allows anyone to create original permutations of the “It’s more fun in the Philippines” meme.
The meme has gone viral, with netizens sharing and contributing different versions using their own photographs of the country.
“The beauty of our branding campaign is that it invites people from all walks of life to join in and come up with their own versions of the catch phrase,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.
“There’s plenty of room for creativity and participation. ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ is more experiential, dwelling on real and palpable experiences. Indeed, what started as a simple slogan has now become a country statement and a badge of pride among travelers, Filipinos and foreigners alike,” he added.
“It may be beginner’s luck as this is the first time that the DOT has advertised in Yomiuri, one of Japan’s leading newspapers. We were told that the DOT is the only national tourism organization (NTO) recipient under this category which could mean one thing: we are undisputedly FUN,” DOT Tourism Attache to Tokyo Valentino Cabansag enthused.
Challenge for tourism
Japan is the 3rd biggest generator of tourists to the Philippines. Of the two million tourists who visited the country from January to May this year, 8.95% or 179,984 were from Japan.
The gradual recovery of Japan’s economy can only bode well for the Philippines which remains a favorite travel destination in Asia. But according to DOT Assistant Secretary Benito Bengzon Jr, much can still be done to improve the Philippines as a tourism hotspot.
“We need to raise our comparative advantage in other product offerings. Aside from continuous brand awareness and goodwill activities with consumer and travel trade, more in-depth studies of the market segments will enable our industry to better prepare destinations and products that will match evolving preferences,” he said. – With reports from Pia RanadaRappler.com