President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday called on all Filipinos to be the country’s “tourism ambassadors” and “top influencers,” saying that the greatest asset of Filipinos is their “genuine warmth” and hospitality.
“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’,” the President said in his speech during the 50th Anniversary of the Department of Tourism (DOT) at the Manila Hotel.
The President graced the event in launching the newest tourism campaign slogan: ‘LOVE the Philippines.’
“And what better way to express that love than by directly incorporating it into our country’s newest tourism campaign slogan,” Marcos said, adding that the new branding will serve as a guidepost for the Philippine tourism industry.
“Indeed, the Philippines will never run out of places to discover, of meals to enjoy, adventures to experience, people to meet, (and) talents to admire,” the chief executive added.
President Marcos also encouraged Filipinos to take pride and celebrate the love for the Philippines and its people, noting that this same love will propel the country’s tourism industry forward.
“The genuine warmth of the Filipino people is indeed our greatest asset. The hospitality that we extend the visitors—both local and foreign—is a unique characteristic that is innately embedded in the social fabric of being a Filipino and it is something that we should all be very proud of,” the President said.
“Thank you for supporting the various government projects and for strictly complying with our laws which aim to protect and promote the overall welfare of our country,” he said.
The President also affirmed the administration’s commitment to advancing the country’s tourism industry, which he described as a potential economic pillar as envisioned by his late father, President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. way back in 1973.
“This prioritization goes deeper than merely stimulating economic activities and generating job opportunities. It springs from the genuine love that you, me, and all of us have for the Philippines,” the President said.
In 1973, the elder Marcos created a new cabinet-level DOT by splitting the Department of Trade and Tourism into two separate departments.
Meanwhile, the President likewise thanked DOT Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco and the DOT team for the latest campaign they have come up with to give travelers a great experience when they visit the different parts of the country.
He said the DOT campaign includes targets such as the promotion of regional products, building more infrastructures for seamless and ease of travel, and championing green movements, among others.
“These plans are laid down in detail in the National Tourism Development Plan for 2023 to 2028 which was approved last March,” the President said, saying the five-year plan stemmed from his administration’s determination to execute programs that will positively transform the country towards being a tourism powerhouse in Asia.
“Let us therefore strive to translate our golden vision into reality, which also encapsulates this year’s milestone theme of GINTO or ‘Greater Innovations, New Tourism Opportunities.’ Let this serve as our inspiration as we continue to recover from the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, by which the tourism sector was undoubtedly one of the hardest hit,” he added.
The President said he is glad to see the latest data on the status of the tourism sector, which is noted as “improving figures” with regard to its revenue, employment, international arrivals and domestic trips.
“All of these are encouraging signs that the tourism industry and 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.
The President also thanked the private sector and all stakeholders in the tourism industry.
“To everyone in the industry who offer their services to our guests; to our travel agents, to our hotel staff, airline crews, boat operators; everyone who welcomes our tourists with their warm and bright smiles to make certain that they have a great and memorable experience—maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.”