Tourism slogan to be launched during Miss U pageant

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - October 5, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s new tourism campaign will be launched on Jan. 13, the day Miss Universe contestants arrive in the country for the pageant, to make sure it gets more international exposure, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced yesterday.?

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo denied rumors that the Miss Universe pageant here was cancelled due to recent developments.

“I’d like to assure you that Miss Universe, the contest will be here on Jan. 30, definitely,” Teo said in a lunch meeting with the media.?DOT Undersecretary for advocacy and public affairs Katherine de Castro said they would like to take advantage of Miss Universe Organization’s airing of the contestants’ arrival for the pageant in “their channels all over the world” that would in effect provide an international launching for the new tourism campaign

De Castro said the event would be “very big” for the Philippines.

Asked repeatedly why the existing tourism slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” would be dropped, the DOT cited a 2016 study by Nielsen assessing the effectivity of the current campaign.

Quoting the study, the DOT said 65 percent of respondents from the European market liked the slogan. However, only 26 percent of these people had the intention to go to the Philippines. Similarly, about 72 percent of North American respondents said they liked the campaign, but only 45 percent of these signified intention to visit the country.?“That would be one of our basis… to come up with something new... tweak it a bit, probably,” De Castro said, adding the DOT was hoping to attract more tourists through a different campaign.

“In another study, although they (foreigners) know it’s fun in the Philippines, we don’t tell them what to do in the Philippines. The tagline is very general. Basically, the new campaign Under secretary Teo would be more specific in terms of destinations and the activities they can do,” she explained.?De Castro said the new campaign would also reinforce the Philippines’ brand and inject more unique Filipino experiences to make it more authentic.

The DOT said that it was in talks with an advertising company to craft the new campaign.   

Pageant preparations

The DOT officials also confirmed some of the locations where segments of the pageant would be held: Metro Manila, Siargao, Cebu, Palawan, Vigan, Davao and Bicol.

The coronation of Miss Universe will be held on Jan. 30 in the morning at the Mall of Asia Arena. People who will watch the event are expected to be inside the venue as early as 4 a.m.?De Castro said supporters of some candidates, particularly from “beauty pageant fanatic” countries, have expressed interest to reserve sections of the venue.?“Right now, we’re getting a lot of reservations from different countries, shutting down an entire sector in the arena for countries like China, South American countries like Venezuela and Colombia, the pageant fanatic countries,” De Castro said.?According to De Castro, each candidate will be allowed to bring as many as 1,500 supporters to the venues. There are currently 97 candidates for Miss Universe.

“They were telling us that apparently one candidate can bring in as many as 1,500 supporters and we’re looking at almost 100. That’s why they’re planning for other auxiliary events so that they can see the girls from there,” she said.?De Castro added that SM was also eyeing to maximize their theaters to show the event live.

With regard to the host of the pageant, De Castro said she would ensure that Steve Harvey would be able to talk to President Duterte to settle any issues and uncertainties.

Earlier, Duterte said he did not want Harvey to host the event because of his gaffe in last year’s pageant wherein he mistakenly announced Miss Colombia as the new Miss Universe.

The pageant candidates are expected to pay the President a courtesy visit on Jan. 23, she said.

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