President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday expressed optimism that the Philippines will become the “tourism powerhouse” of Asia in the next few years.
This, as Marcos witnessed the unveiling of the country’s new tourism slogan “Love the Philippines” during the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) 50th anniversary celebration at The Manila Hotel.
In a keynote speech, Marcos affirmed his commitment to advancing the tourism sector, hoping that the new campaign slogan would help stimulate economic activities and generate job opportunities in the country.
“What a better way to express that love than directly incorporating it into our country’s newest tourism campaign slogan, Love the Philippines. This is new branding which we unveiled today. It will serve as our guidepost for the Philippine Tourism Industry moving forward,” Marcos said.
“Allow me then to express my sincere appreciation to Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco and for the DOT team because aside from the tourist destination, the campaign that you have conceptualized aims to enhance the overall experience of every traveler,” he added.
In May, Marcos approved the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028 which will serve as his administration’s blueprint and development framework for the tourism industry.
Marcos said the NTDP 2023-2028 contains the government’s targets, which include the promotion of local products and the implementation of more infrastructure projects to ensure hassle-free travel.
“The five-year plan stemmed from this admin’s determination to implement programs that will positively transform our country towards being a tourism powerhouse in Asia in the coming years. Let us therefore strive to translate out golden vision into reality,” he said.
Marcos lauded the DOT for making the tourism industry as “a major driver of economic growth.”
He also welcomed the “improving” figures in tourism revenues, employment, international arrivals and domestic trips, saying these indicate the country’s recovery from the onslaught of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“All of these are encouraging signs that the tourism industry in our country as a whole is headed well towards full recovery. It also conveys a strong message to the world that we are ready and fully equipped to welcome tourists, travelers as well as investors,” Marcos said.
To realize his administration’s goal of transforming the Philippines as Asia’s tourism powerhouse, Marcos urged Filipinos to be the country’s tourism ambassadors.
“I enjoin you all to be our country’s promoters, advocates, and if I may borrow a coined term in this age of social media, be our country’s top influencers,” he said.
“Indeed, the Philippines will never run out of places to discover, meals to enjoy, adventures to experience, people to meet, talents to admire. Let us take pride and celebrate the love we have of our country and our people for it is the same love that gave meaning to the establishment of the DOT and the same love that will propel our tourism industry moving forward into the future,” Marcos added.
The total number of international tourist arrivals in the country is at 2,029,419 so far, based on the latest data from the DOT. (PNA)