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.