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Special Features | National

Jolly fun! Philippine tourism campaign a hit in London

All photos courtesy of the London office of the Department of Tourism
The online news portal of TV5

"Absolutely brilliant!" is how UK-based Filipino Innah Viray-Lim describes the Department of Tourism's "It's More Fun in the Philippines" campaign, which was recently rolled out via London's famed cabs, double-decker buses, and Tube.

"I rode the cab and saw the digital advertisement. It's very witty. Great tag line and good visuals. It captures the audience because you're just sitting in there and you will really watch it," said Lim.

Twenty-five double-deckers and 50 taxis in London have as of date been plastered with "a uniform design of the slogan, logo, and different faces of the Philippines."

The taxis also come with "a 30-minute digital ad which features the 30-seconder 'It's more fun in the Philippines' TVC and 15-seconder tarsier TVC," making the DOT the first national tourism organization to advertise through the Verifone Media-owned taxi digital platform. According to the DOT, the taxi campaign will run until early 2013.

Photo from the London office of the Department of Tourism.

The DOT campaign will also tap into "the millions of visitors and household viewers" of the ongoing Queen's Jubilee, the London 2012 Olympics, and season 2012-2013 of the Fulham Football Club of the English Premier League.

Commuters taking the subway can also spot the Ifugao Rice Terraces and the Puerto Princesa Underground River while walking through the stations.

Photo from the London office of the Department of Tourism.

The tourism campaign has been "welcomed with warm reception and overwhelming support" both by Filipinos and London locals, said the DOT.

Member of the British Guild of Travel Writers John Oates said he saw the advertisements both on the buses and the underground. It made him "stop and do a double take," because it was the first time he saw a Philippine ad on "the tube", London's subway system.

"I hope that it succeeds in attracting more people to the country," said Oates, who is also a contributor to Rough Guides to the Philippines.

Business Development Head for the Fulham F.C. Weronika Abramowicz said, "We really love your advertising campaign and we believe it would work fantastically well through our channels."

Photo from the London office of the Department of Tourism.

Print media is also lending mileage to the tourism campaign.

UK travel trade media publications Travel Bulletin, Travel Daily News Asia, and ABTA Magazine featured the launch of the DOT campaign, while Selling Long Haul's April issue drew attention to the country's latest resorts, hotels, and adventure activities on offer.

"Diving [in the Philippines] has been a never-ending educational process of discovery and documenting, photographing some of the most intriguing and diverse marine animals on Planet Earth," said Mike Batrick of Equator Diving, a DOT partner dive tour operator.

In their April and May newsletters, they reported successful group visits to Anilao, according to the DOT.

In Ireland, the widely-circulated Irish Times featured the Dublin launch of the tourism campaign.

April saw Italy's In Viaggio magazine detailing the Philippine visit of agents from holiday travel operator Hotelplan.

Immersion Magazine, one of Spain's top diving publications, also recently wrote about Coron and Anilao.

The DOT also expects more editorials to come out in June and July, particularly in UK-based Diver and Sport Diver magazines, which put the spotlight on diving sites in Cebu, Dumaguete, Puerto Galera, and Malapascua.

Readers can also look forward to a five-page spread on the whalesharks in Oslob in Sport Diver July.

A Malapascua feature in the June issue of Diver magazine. Photo from the DOT.

"The world will now start to see that 'It's More Fun in the Philippines' is not just a bunch of words on a streamer. It is a competitive argument for choosing the Philippines as one of the world’s top tourist destination," said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez.

"Philippine tourism is poised to surge forward as we launch more aggressive initiatives to reinvigorate the industry and work towards achieving our 10M target by 2016."