Philippines removes tourism campaign after website debacle

by Alfie FEATHERSTONE on November 19, 2010

The Philippines newest campaign slogan for its recently launched tourism promotion has been removed from the web after only two days when it came to light that the web address closely mirrored that of a porn site.

The new web address was just one letter away from a similar address that led to pornographic materials. Furthermore, the botched campaign was also written entirely in Tagalog, which many said would make it difficult for tourists to understand.

The mix up comes as the Philippines prepare to launch its first re-branding for tourism in the last eight years. However, with the news of the language barrier and the web address disaster, the government said the country would most likely go back to its original branding.

The new logo had featured the beautiful beaches of the islands along with the country’s indigenous animal, the tarsier. Public opinion has widely criticised the site for its use of Tagalog instead of English and its closeness in name to the porn site.

The site has been taken down since the whistle was blown and the tourism ministry will meet soon to discuss the fate of the confusing campaign.

The news of the botched tourism promotion comes as the Philippines scrambles to reach a deadline to double its tourist numbers by 2013. An integral part of promoting tourism for the Philippines will come in the form of touting the islands as a safe place to visit, after a failed rescue attempt during a hostage situation with eight Hong Kong tourists left the visitors dead.

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