Selling Southeast Asia

I was reading through some back entries of BISEAN blog one week ago and I was amused to find an article published last May 2007 regarding the tourism slogans in use around Southeast Asia. I had a lot of fun reading it that I decided to come up with a similar entry.

Those who are in charge of our tourism have don their thinking caps to create "tourist brands", slogans that aims to promote our lovely countries and to capture the attention of dollar-spending tourists. No doubt, three of Asia's most successful tourism slogans of all time are in - hold your breath - Southeast Asia, with "Malaysia, Truly Asia", "Amazing Thailand" and "Uniquely Singapore", proved by the annual flock of tourists arriving in each country.

I'm 100% sure you already heard Singapore's current slogan "Uniquely Singapore". It's been around for almost 5 years now. No offense, but what's unique about Singapore? Well, if uniqueness will be base upon safety and security, then the slogan is appropriate. I don't think I can disagree with that in any way. But heck, these tourism slogans aren't about such things right? Personally, I'll choose a destination for its cultural landscapes and cultural attractions and not for its excellent law and order. OOPS! I'm so dead to my readers from Singapore. I gotta stop. [read: pampalubag loob] Well, anyway, the slogan proved to be one heck of a success for them. HOORAY!

My dream destination came up with --- "Malaysia, Truly Asia". Does it mean that the Philippines or Laos is just 'partly Asia'? WTF or so I think. I guess they only want to imply that you can find almost the entire Asia --- in terms of the people, culture, places and things like that--- in Malaysia. If I got it right, Malaysia is the most-visited country in the region. Way to go Malaysia!

Also effective but a tad challenging is Vietnam's slogan. It seems that the Vietnamese government wants to get a piece of the pie that it conducted a nationwide contest in 2006 (or is it 2007?) to come up with a slogan and it turned out "Vietnam, The Hidden Charm" wowed the judges. I gotta tell you... when my friend first heard this, he blurted "if it's hidden, why find it?". LOL. But, I love it. Its like saying "Come here and you'll find something worthy".

Thailand's slogan is also a good model - "Amazing Thailand". Now, that's catchy. Simple yet intriguing. Who wouldn't want to travel to see that? The Thai slogan speaks for itself. It has sought to convey a simple message and to indicate to visitors that Thailand is just simply amazing.

"Cambodia, Kingdom of Wonder". It's beautiful. Who came up with this? He needs to be congratulated for a job well done. I must say people that Cambodia doesn't only have Angkor Wat. It has a rich cultural heritage, virgin beaches, sinfully tasty foods, nice and warm people (someone told me that Cambodians are really, really hospitable) and a lot more.

Myanmar made the right decision when it use "Mystical Myanmar" as its promotion slogan. When I think of Myanmar, I envision it as a very mysterious and reserve place. And, they've capitalized on it. Good!

Brunei Darussalam. This little gem of Southeast Asia has chosen "Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures" as its slogan. This country of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has sought to demonstrate that despite of its small size, there is a wonderful world to discover. By the way, do they still need money from tourists? What do you think? Brunei is so rich and you know why --- yeah, oil, oil and MORE oil.

Indonesia with almost 13,000 islands (yeah! almost twice as the number of Philippine islands) and hundreds of tribes chose a slogan that best represent their identity - "The Ultimate in Diversity". But sorry it doesn't work for me. I know Indonesia can come up with another better than that.

"Laos Jewel of the Mekong". I asked some of my friends if they know "what the hell a Mekong is?", answers include, "a Chinese boy's name", "a vegetable" and "an extinct bird". LMAO. See? I think it's a wrong move for Laotians because, obviously, not everyone knows what the Mekong is and not everyone has access to google. LOL. They should change it. NOW!

I'm not really ecstatic when my paradise came up with "WOW Philippines More Than The Usual" as its promotion slogan in 2001. But now, I'm starting to like it. We Filipinos says 'WOW' every time we see anything spectacular. The Philippines' Department of Tourism used WOW as an acronym for many phrases --- such as Warm over Winter, Wild Over Waters, Wander over Wrecks, Wacko Our Wildlife et. al.

BUT HEY! The "Pearl of the Orient Seas" title is miles way better. Long before our neighboring countries came up with their own slogans, the Philippines was already known by this title. But, Hong Kong ... err how to say this?... robbed (oops!) it in the late '80s and we didn't say anything about it. Schucks!

[P.S. Mr. Ace, you can also opt to these slogans I read from The Philippine Star Inbox section --- Philippines, Islands of Tropical Paradise or Philippines, 7, 107 Reasons To Have Fun In The Sun.]

I observed that all our neighbors have already come up with their own promotion slogans... yes, even East Timor have stepped up in the game --- "Discover the World's Newest Nation". OK. I'll let it pass. They're just beginning. Giving little considerations won't do any harm... really.

But, at least, our slogans are better than some slogans use in some parts of the world: Colombia's "The Only Risk Is Wanting To Stay" (I dunno, I just find this creepy), El Salvador's "Impressive", "Korea, Sparkling" and the state of Washington's "Say WA" - indicating that ridiculous slogans sometimes happen, even today.

There you go, promotions slogans that are used to sell Southeast Asia to tourists. I hope you enjoy reading it. So, is there any tourism slogan you love - or love to hate? Let me know.



Kurog said...

Pa-base nga! Kahit nagtatampo ako sa'yo! Hmpft!

Word Verification: WARDAW

Ehe.... wala lang...

Anonymous said...


I dunno kung bakit pinalitan ng S. Kore yung slogan nila na "Seoul of Asia".

Sana nga ibalik yung "Pearl of the Orient Seas" o kaya Idugtong doon sa "WOW Philippines".

Anonymous said...

Hay... Ang bagal ko magpost.

Kasi naman, istorbo yung kausap ko sa YM.

Amp... LOL.

.pOot! said...

hi kuya kurog!

// haha. kung may base awards ako, for sure ikaw ang runaway winner. haha.

.pOot! said...

hi kuya tripper!

bilis mo rin ah. hehe.

input lang po. ang gumagamit po ng slogan na "seoul of asia" ay yung capital city nito na seoul at hindi yung s. korea itself. pero po ang alam ko ngayon "infinitely yours" na gamit nila (seoul).

ang s. korea naman, gustong palitan yung current slogan nila na "korea,sparkling", tunog softdrink daw kasi. hehe. i think they will capitalize dun sa pagiging technology hub nila. last week, i saw sa CNN na may bago silang ad at "advance technology korea" na ang ginamit nilang slogan. i'm not sure kung ito na yung kapalit ng tunog softdrink nilang slogan. haha!

// haha. istorbo pala.

Kurog said...

@m2m tripper, mangarap ka! Ako ang base! Ahahaha!

LORD ZARA 札拉 said...

come to visit Malaysia!

.pOot! said...

hi kuya kurog!

wag mo namang awayin si kuya tripper. baka di na bumalik. hehe.

.pOot! said...

hi zara!

welcome back. it's been a while since your last visit.

don't worry. malaysia is on the top of my "to-visit" list. haha.

Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD said...

for me the best slogangs are (1) amazing thailand; 2) wow philippines!!!

fufu said...

yeah malaysia is the truly asia =p lol anyway it's just the slogan... take it easy my friend =p and well i think these slogans for the countries have been created since years ago... =p even the european countries are fighting to promote its own culture etc

PUSANG-gala said...

mapapa-wow ka talaga sa Pilipinas if you can go around. panalo sa natural beauty. kulang lang sa development ng tourism facilities kaya mahal. anung laban natin sa budget tour ng Thailand. at saka problema ang access dito. abutin ka ng syam syam bago makarating sa lugar. hope we can do something about that....

ANIMUS said...

sorry cuz i just have this 'funny' in mind ryt now and here it goes..another slogan thing.hehe...curious abwt 't?comment back.haha

Nash said...

I'll go with the WOW first before checking the WONDERS of other nations ;)

.pOot! said...

hi big bro fufu!

yah. note that tourism is a billion-dollar industry and it seems that every country wants a piece of the pie. lolz.

.pOot! said...

hi kuya gala!

oo nga. kung ganda ang pag-uusapan, panalo ang pilipinas.

// ang problema lang ay yung tourist facilities natin. medyo alanganin compared sa malaysia and thailand. hindi kasi ganun kalaki ang budget natin kesa sa ating neighboring countries. hai. sana isa ito sa i-address ng next president. dreamin'!

.pOot! said...

hi mark!

haha. ano yun? curious ako. lolz.

.pOot! said...

hi kuya nash!

that's also my plan kuya. and first stop: PALAWAN. haha! i heard that the place will blew your mind off.

Anonymous said...

Haha... May sarili pa palang mundo ang Seoul at gumawa ng sariling slogan hiwalay sa S. Korea.

Dito sa kinalalagyan kong bansa, paulit-ulit kong nakikita yung commercial ng "Korea Sparkling". Impernes naman, maganda. Lalo na yung music na ginamit.
Parang Paris of Asia ang dating.
Romatic and sparkling.

O ha... May ganoon?

Aba, aba, aba... Teka naman muna. Paano naman ang Manila. Dapat may slogan din.


.pOot! said...

hi kuya tripper!

oo nga. bonggang bongga ang promotion video ng seoul. star-studded. hehe. ulit-ulit din ang pagpapalabas ng video na yun dito sa 'pinas. sa iba't ibang channels pa.

// teka. kuya. asan ka ba?

ANIMUS said...

kasi galing lang aqng office kanina...tapos meron parang activity samin...nilagyan nila q nung slogan sa likod ko saying "Iboto:For President...2010 elections."ayun!di ko alam..kaya pala tawanan sila ng tawanan..hehe


I enjoyed reading this. Let's face it, even our cities have their own slogan, so we need one for our country.

pwede cguro yung "PINAS, Dance Floor ni Mommy Dionisia"

.pOot! said...

hi mark!

haha. nice! MARK RENDON for 2010. haha. it seems that you're enjoying there. ok din ba ang mga officemates mo?

.pOot! said...

hi kuya KJ!

nice. you made me laugh. lume-level up na talaga si mommy dionisia. isa ng ganap na celebrity. hehe!

Anonymous said...

ngayon ko lang nabasa to..napa smile naman ako dun.napaka informative.

pagkatapos kong mabasa mga slogans ng iba't ibang bansa, parang wala ng dating ang WOW Philippines sakin.

yung amazing thailand napaka plain.pero thailand is thailand.

yung malaysia,truly asia nagkalat dito.putek.kasawa na.haha

ANIMUS said...

well.i know that im friendly enough for 'em to like me..it's just that there people who need not to be pleased and the hell i care abwt the way they think abwt me..what matters is i enjoy havin true peeps here..like you!kanya kanyang banat lang..**winks**musta studies?

.pOot! said...

hi pareng rye!

haha. asa malaysia ka kaya, kaya nagkalat talaga promotion slogan nila. hai. mas mabuti nga yun eh, dito sa 'Pinas nakikita ko lang ang slogan natin sa net. lolz.

.pOot! said...

hi mark!

oo! hindi ka naman mahirap pakisamahan. hehe!

studies ko? ok naman. that's all i can say! haha.

riQue said...

salamat nga pala sa post na ito.. nagawa ko ung assignment ng pamangkin ko.. wag kang mag alala,, i quoted your blog URL.

.pOot! said...

Hi Rique!

Really? That's nice to hear. At least pala, may maganda ring nagagawa ang pagba-blog ko. Haha!