New DOT Tourism Logo, Website Withdrawn

The new logo “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” and website of the Department of Tourism were abruptly pulled out shortly after its “preview” on Monday following a rash of criticism.

Cebu tourism stakeholders were also puzzled by the change.

"In the first place, it would have been good if it was nationally accepted, but it's Tagalog... There must have been some consultation, I'm sure, but was the Cebuano community consulted on this?" asked Provincial Board Member Agnes Magpale, head of the PB committee on tourism.

She said industry stakeholders should have been consulted beforehand.

Magpale said she was worried about the new slogan "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" because foreign tourists may not understand it.

"If this is for the international market, maybe we should use English so that everybody will understand. Or maybe we should limit it (slogan) to one word, like the 'wow' in 'Wow Philippines,' which is universally understood," Magpale said.

Cebu registered the biggest number of tourist arrivals last year in the Philippines with 1.6 million domestic and foreign tourists, almost half of the DOT’s target 3.3 million visitors for this year.

Less than 24 hours after the DOT’s “preview” in Manila of its new logo that will be launched on February, the accompanying site www.beautifulpilipinas.com was taken off because of errors in its contents.

For example, it refers to the Bohol tarsier in the logo as a “marsupial” when the tiny animal is a primate.

Manila journalist Ellen Tordesillas said she was "horrified by the inferior quality of the articles" citing the opening article of the site: "The Philippines; being an archipelago, offers countless of destinations to see, adventures to experience and activities to do. The country is blessed with a rich environment…”

Cebuana Naomi Larazabal-Dado, editor of Blog Watch, said that the slogan should scrap the word "ganda" or "kay ganda" because some foreigners might understand it to mean "Filipina kay ganda" or "Beautiful Filipnas," which focuses on a stereotype that exploits Filipinas.

She said the logo, which has inputs by President Aquino himself, needs improvement since it has too many elements that clutter it: a tarsier, a sun, a coconut tree, and water. She suggested a slogan contest to draw the best creative minds at work.

In Tordesillas' blog, Cebu-based tour guide Bino Guerrero said whoever wrote the section on Cebu does not know Cebu because it said, “You will also see cliffs that tower above crashing surfs, virgin forests, clear rivers, mossy jungles, and cool mountain ridges.” Guerrero asked, “Where in Cebu can you find it?"

The recently previewed DOT logo is a result of a four-month study, according to Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim, who said "It is relevant, distinctive and believable."

By Dale G. Israel
Cebu Daily News
First Posted 09:10:00 11/18/2010

Source: Inquirer Global Nation