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Cebu tourism players want "WoW" branding retained

- Ehda Dagooc () - November 20, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Sensitive on how the Philippines is being promoted abroad, Cebu tourism stakeholders plan to make a unified call to the Department of Tourism (DOT) to retain the nine-year-old branding "WoW Philippines." Cebu tourism advocate Milagros Espina said that it would be very feasible to take action to urge the DOT officials to consider the continuity of the Philippine branding to attract foreign tourists.

Espina, who is also the chairperson of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) tourism committee said that it is very feasible for Cebu tourism players to get their voices heard, considering that Cebu is the top tourism destination in the country.

"For continuity, we should retain the 'WoW Philippines'," Espina stressed.

Tourism prime mover, Jay P. Aldeguer, whose business largely depends on tourism in the country, the Islands Souvenirs Inc. (ISI) said that in the over-crowded marketplace, "we have to find our niche and brand ourselves accordingly."

The plan to call for a unified call followed after the DOT initially launched the new slogan for the Philippines dubbed "Pilipinas, Kay Ganda" which continues to draw controversial reaction from tourism players and the public in general.

"I think we can definitely do better. The initial branding lacks impact, plus I think the use of Filipino language will not be effective in the international market. We should carefully brand our country based on how we want to position the Philippines in travel and tourism," Aldeguer said.

While the DOT secretary Alberto Lim reported aware of the negative reaction from the newly launched slogan, former DOT-7 regional director Patria Aurora Roa hopes that the new tourism officials will reconsider some actions.

Cebu, which largely depends on tourism, is expected to be largely affected by the rebranding of Philippine tourism especially in foreign markets.

"The slogan has no impact and global appeal. I believe 'WoW Philippines' which means 'wealth of wonders' showcases the entire natural and man-made resources of the country," Espina said.

Just like other countries, that effectively attracts the worldwide traveling market. They are able to sustain their branding or slogan for years, in order to establish strong recall to its target market, such as the "Amazing Thailand", "Malaysia, Simply Asia," "Incredible India", among others.

The "WoW Philippines" slogan was introduced in 2001 by then DOT secretary Richard Gordon.

At present though, Cebu tourism movers have yet to officially discuss on the planned "pro-active" action convincing to scrap the newly introduced slogan, and may retain the "WoW Philippines."

Cebuano stakeholders suggested that if DOT will not retail the "WoW Philippines", it has to come up with something brilliantly thought out slogan, instead of "Pilipinas, Kay Ganda."

Besides, promoting the Philippines in Filipino language will further create confusion in the global market. (FREEMAN)

ALBERTO LIM ALDEGUER AMAZING THAILAND CEBU CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM ESPINA KAY GANDA PHILIPPINES TOURISM
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