It carries a clear message of encouraging Filipinos not to be ignorant of the country’s tourist attractions, to know its rich culture, to be aware of what every region can offer and to be more familiar of our own native land than any other place.
To a certain extent, the theme calls for patriotism in a sense that beckons every citizen to find time to travel and be familiar with what we have before we spend time traveling somewhere else. People from other countries who have traveled quite a distance to visit us would have probably explored their places of origin long before reaching our shores or before they decided to explore other places. But the call was not meant for foreigners to come to us but for fellow Filipinos to take time to see and learn to appreciate what we have in our midst. It was an awakening that we need to see first our very own backyard before we explore others for us to compare and perhaps to suggest some improvement should there be to be at par with the rest of the world’s known paradise.
Sometimes it is hard to understand why we dream to be in other countries, seeing their tourist spots and marveled at what we see there as if we have nothing - when we have not yet gone around our country to see what we have. It is not surprising to know why many Filipinos who can afford to travel have been in so many places in the world and even boast about their experiences abroad – but when asked about the place they came from, they simply say nothing for they have not yet even gone to some provinces in the country. We have some professionals and retirees who travel out of the country regularly every year or every six months but have not been to Boracay or Palawan. We have some companies who give travel incentives to their loyal and well-deserving employees a free trip abroad for 3-5 days when they could have picked the countryside instead and make their trip longer, enriching and cheaper. At least they could have prevented themselves or their employees from being “ignoramus hijos” in “Las islas de Piliplinas”.
The theme was likewise viewed by many Filipinos as an invitation for all Filipinos to prioritize travel within the country and help spread out the invitation to all Filipinos living abroad by word of mouth. Surely, we can promote our place more convincingly if we already have that chance of viewing these attractions ourselves. This is the very reason why we have these familiarization tours (famtours) given to tour operators, mediamen and opinion leaders for them to assess, rate or view these places. The process of getting Filipinos become familiar with the local attractions have eventually enticed even those living abroad with their families.
The present “It’s more fun in the Philippines” campaign/slogan is also making waves in terms of increasing visitor arrivals. The 16% growth recorded in the first quarter of 2012, only signifies that the Department of Tourism is on the right direction in making the country a popular destination. It also manifested how slogans can improve tourism-related activities and how effective tool it can be to increase tourism influx in the country. Although some have negative views about it, others opined that the campaign/slogan carries with it the pride and confidence of Filipinos to make the country a major tourist destination in the world.