[Note: Data on visitor arrivals include Philippine passport holders permanently residing abroad; excludes overseas Filipino workers]
MANILA -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) is planning to revise and "upscale" the "It's More Fun in the Philippines" campaign in 2017 as the catchy slogan "did not generate tourist arrivals."
Last Saturday, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said the agency will be spending P650 million for the new campaign.
"Everybody liked it but the tourist arrivals, wala masyado," she said about the current slogan.
"We just want to answer the question: Why is it more fun in the Philippines?" Teo added.
However, data from DOT showed that the number of visitors to the country has consistently increased from January 2012 to December 2015.
The total number of visitor arrivals increased by 25.46 percent from 2012 to 2015, from a total of 4,272,811 visitors in 2012 to 5,360,682 visitors in 2015.
In 2012, the Philippines welcomed at least 4.27 million tourists. In 2013, the number increased by 9.56 percent (408,496) when at least 4.68 million tourists arrived.
In 2014, the country received at least 4.83 million tourists, or 3.25 percent (152,061) more than the total in 2013. And in 2015, at least 5.36 million tourists, or 10.91 percent (527,314) more than the total in 2014, visited the country.
From 2012 to 2015, tourists from Korea, USA, and Japan topped the annual list.
However, from January to August 2016, the number of tourists from China overtook those from Japan to land on the third spot.
China had the highest tourist arrival growth rate among the top 12 countries from January to August 2016.
Chinese tourist arrivals (484,567) to the Philippines grew by 50 percent compared with the same period last year (322,417). Korea and the US, the top two source countries for tourists in the Philippines, grew by 8.29 percent and 9.96 percent respectively, over the same period.
In 2016, the DOT’s latest data from January to August show that the country welcomed at least 4.04 million tourists. This is 12.59 percent (452,011) higher than the number of tourists received in the same period in 2015.
DOT launched its "It's More Fun in the Philippines" campaign in 2012, replacing the "WOW Philippines" campaign started by then tourism secretary Richard Gordon in 2002.
The new slogan became a worldwide trend back when it was first launched, with netizens sharing both their praises and criticisms online.