Region 12’s new tourism tag: #HelloParadise

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 February) — The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Region 12 has adopted a new brand name for the region in a bid to enhance its continuing tourism promotion and marketing initiatives.

Nelly Nita Dillera, DOT Region 12 director, formally launched over the weekend the tagline “#HelloParadise” as the official brand name and centerpiece of the region’s tourism campaigns for this year.

The agency also adopted the “SOX” moniker for Region 12 or Soccsksargen to make it more catchy and easy to remember.

Dillera said the new tourism identity was inspired by the agency’s “12th Paradise” campaign strategy and brand name that was launched in 2013.

“We’re not trashing the 12th Paradise brand name but we’re giving it a new face through #Hello Paradise,” she said.

The official said they adopted the new brand name to give more “personality” to the region’s world-class and “paradise-like” tourist attractions and destinations.

She said it best describes what Region 12 can offer to tourists with its rich natural attractions and resources.

Instead of towering buildings and other modern edifices, she said the region boasts of its mountains, free flowing waterfalls and springs, captivating lakes, pristine white sand beaches as well as well-preserved culture and traditions of local tribal communities.

“A utopia in its modest version where communities are a mixture of old and new, where tribal groups live harmoniously with urban folks and where traditions and cultures all celebrated all-year-round,” she said.

The official said they included the hashtag or number sign in the tagline to give it a modern touch and assist its promotion efforts in various social media sites.

She said using the hashtag in the tagline will facilitate its mainstreaming and trending as a topic in the social media.

“When you talk about communication plan, it’s not just about branding and promotion or marketing. It’s also about how and what you need to communicate to your audience. This project is just a part of what we are trying to communicate,” she said.

DOT-12 launched the “12th Paradise” in late 2013 as the official brand and strategy of its revitalized tourism promotions and marketing campaign for the region.

It featured Sarangani province as an adventure haven through its river tubing, diving and paragliding attractions; this city for its famed tuna; South Cotabato for Lake Sebu; North Cotabato for Mt. Apo; Sultan Kudarat for its agri-tourism, natural springs and ziplines; and Cotabato City for its cultural treasures.

The initiative helped propel the region’s tourism industry last year in terms of local and foreign tourist arrivals that surged to a record 2.38 million.

The total tourist arrivals in the region last year was around 2.04 million more than the recorded figures in 2013, which only reached 345,328.

It exceeded the agency’s target of 1.9 million tourist arrivals for the period by about 22 percent or around 426,000. (Minda News)