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MANILA, June 5 (PNA) -- The world is now starting to see that the Department of Tourism's campaign "It’s More Fun in the Philippines" is not just a bunch of slogan or campaign on a streamer.

It is a competitive argument for choosing the Philippines as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, according to Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.

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

The campaign was launched recently in London through a 45-minute fun motorcade that featured advertisements on the iconic London double-decker buses and taxi cabs.

Twenty-five double-decker buses and 50 iconic black cabs sporting a uniform design of the slogan, logo, and different faces of the Philippines are now spotted around the bustling streets of London.

The subway stations also display images of the world-famous Ifugao Rice Terraces and the Puerto Princesa Underground River, both proclaimed as World Heritage Sites.

With London’s 7.5 million population and 15 million international visitors every year, the Philippines is certainly generating awareness not only among the British population, but also among visitors to the United Kingdom (UK), who have have expressed their excitement and confidence in the Philippine campaign.

“I've seen the bus advertisements a couple of times, as well as the one in the underground, which made me stop and do a double take, as I hadn't seen a Philippine ad in the tube before. I hope that it succeeds in attracting more people to the country,” said John Oates, contributor to Rough Guides to the Philippines and member of the British Guild of Travel Writers.

Oates looks forward to writing about the Philippines again and plans to visit in June.

Simon Beck, director of Orbital Communications, an integrated sales, marketing, and PR solutions provider to travel brands in the UK, finds the bus ads a really good idea that was executed very well.

“I wish you every success with the new campaign. I think it’s so creative...and is telling the ambassador the same. It’s exciting times ahead for you and I hope I can help support you on this exciting journey,” Beck enthused.

DOT is the very first national tourism organization to advertise through the taxis’ digital platform owned by Verifone Media.

The London cabs 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 recently launched worldwide via global network giant CNN through a series of “Eye On” features on the Philippines.

The media campaign through these London cabs will continue to run until early next year, with the opportunity to capture the millions of visitors and household viewers of the Queen’s Jubilee, the London 2012 Olympics, and the season 2012-2013 of the Fulham Football Club of the English Premier League.

Filipinos based in London, who caught a glimpse of the ads, likewise expressed their full support and enthusiasm for the new campaign.

“Absolutely Brilliant! 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. Really good marketing campaign. Not just for foreigners, but for Filipinos as well. It reminds me of home,” shares Innah Viray-Lim, a Filipino currently in London as consultant for Shell.

Many Filipinos residing in the UK also tweeted that they want to have a photo opportunity with the bus and taxi cabs after seeing the launch last May.

The campaign’s roll-out in London was also featured by several UK travel trade media publications such as Travel Bulletin, Travel Daily News Asia, and ABTA Magazine.

The April issue of Selling Long Haul placed the spotlight on some of the Philippines’ new resorts, hotels, and adventure activities. The issue also quoted several tour operator representatives sharing their great experiences visiting the country.

Equator Diving, a partner dive tour operator, reported successful group visits to Anilao in Batangas in their April and May newsletters.

"Diving here has been a never-ending educational process of discovery and documenting, photographing some of the most intriguing and diverse marine animals on Planet Earth," Mike Batrick, one of the members, said.

The Irish Times, Ireland's highly-respected and widely-circulated newspaper, featured the Philippine Embassy in Dublin’s launch of “It’s more fun in the Philippines” among business leaders at St. Stephen’s Green.

More features on the Philippines made their way in the English Midlands with published articles in Lancashire Telegraph and Newcastle Evening Chronicle broadsheets written by Wesley Johnson after her visit to several islands in the Philippines.

More editorials are expected to come out as Diver and Sport Diver magazines talk about the world-famous diving sites in the Philippines such as Cebu, Dumaguete, Puerto Galera, and Malapascua in their June and July issues.

Sport Diver will continue to promote the Philippines in July with a five-page spread on the whalesharks of Oslob.

The Philippines has gained wider publicity in other parts of Europe as it is also featured by other travel magazines, online articles, and broadsheets in Italy and Spain.

The April issue of In Viaggio of Italy detailed the recent trip of Hotelplan's 35 agents to various places in the Philippines.

The underwater gems of Coron and Anilao were also captured in two articles entitled "Los Pecios de Coron" and "Bienvenidos a Nudi City," which appeared on Inmersion Magazine, one of Spain's top diving publications.

Meanwhile, another article on Coron by Ultima Frontera, “Lagos de Coron," also appeared in Viajes de Buceo magazine. (PNA)


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