MANILA - In a fresh bid to attract international travelers, the Department of Tourism (DOT) officially launched Monday a new tourism campaign that highlighted Filipino warmth and hospitality.
Dropping the recently popular 'It's More Fun' campaign, DOT now urged tourists to 'Experience the Philippines.'
In a new promotional video titled "Sights," the new DOT video featured blind Japanese retiree named M. Uchimura enjoying his experiences in different destinations in the Philippines.
"You don't have to see to feel at home," said M. Uchimura in the one-minute clip that featured the Hundred Islands of Pangasinan, the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, and more.
The campaign video was launched in time for Independence Day, and weeks after various countries issued travel advisories against the Philippines due to threats of terrorism.
In a Facebook post, DOT said the advertisement was all about the unique Filipino experience, that "when you're with Filipinos, life is better."
“We are shifting our focus in our promotional campaigns towards the unique experiences that each destinations could offer, Filipino hospitality, and security,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo said.
The Tourism chief added that the new video, the 2nd in the series of promotional ads, encouraged visitors not only to visit Philippine tourist spots, but to discover how to live like a local.
"The basic element of 'fun' remains, as it is truly the Filipinos who make the total tourism experience fulfilling and memorable," she added.
UPDATE June 15, 2017:
The DOT took down this video from its Youtube channel after terminating its contract with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, which produced the ad. The DOT said it noted "glaring similarities" between the video and another tourism ad for South Africa that was produced in 2014.
You can still watch the "Sights" ad on this link.