DOT keeps 'It's More Fun In The Philippines' campaign, eyes 8.2M tourist arrivals in 2019

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 18) — The Department of Tourism (DOT) is retaining the country's flagship tourism campaign, setting a higher tourist arrivals target this year.

Tourism officials on Tuesday launched the "It's More Fun In The Philippines" campaign for 2019, with a few tweaks on the logo.

The redesigned logo now has a new font and features a weave with colors representing Filipino products. The previous logo had the Philippine map.

The DOT said the campaign's promotional video includes crowdsourced clips and photos from tourists.

"The hashtag works. And second, like in other countries, they never change their campaign... In Malaysia? It's been 'Malaysia truly Asia.' The Philippines has embraced the hashtag," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat said.

Puyat said the agency also aims to promote sustainability through this year's campaign.

"We are coming into 2019 with a renewed and refreshed sense of purpose, more and more travelers conscious about their ecological footprint, the culture and experiences they are consuming and simply wanting to know how they can give back," she said.

With this, the DOT increased its foreign tourist arrivals target to 8.2 million from the 7.1 million recorded last year. The agency failed to reach its target of 7.4 million visitors in 2018, citing the six-month closure of Boracay. The popular island was closed to visitors from April to October last year due to rehabilitation ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The DOT has also partnered with government agencies for the rehabilitation of other popular tourists spots in the country, including Panglao in Bohol and El Nido in Palawan. The agency is also eyeing cleanup for Siargao and Baguio City.

The Department of Interior and Local Government, for its part, allays fears among tourists amid travel advisories issued by some countries.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año assured that authorities are taking necessary measures to keep tourists safe in the country.

"It's really safe here in the Philippines and more fun in the Philippines. Our security forces have been doing their best. We'll make sure they're safe and secured also," Ano said.

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Triciah Terrada contributed to this report.