Tourism dept’s new ‘Bisita Be My Guest’ program gets roasted over awkward name

While we have yet to see the full extent of the Philippines’ tourism rebrand after Secretary Christina Frasco confirmed the Department of Tourism (DOT) was phasing out the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign, the Bisita Be My Guest project may be an indicator of what’s to come on the tourism front — and it seems that netizens are less than impressed.

Frasco announced at the DOT’s budget briefing before the House of Representatives on Wednesday that the agency is set to launch the Bisita Be My Guest program soon, which incentivizes overseas Filipinos to bring friends to visit the Philippines.

The program, which also entails the development of an app, is meant to encourage Filipinos to bring tourists to the Philippines by giving them the chance to win prizes and earn discounts through a privilege card.

Bisita Be My Guest, when shortened, is also referred to as BBM Guest. 

BBM also just happens to be the initials used to refer to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. 

While most netizens thought the project sounded like a good idea, the same cannot be said about its name.

One commenter called the name redundant, pointing out that bisita is the Filipino word for visitor — which also means guest.

Bisita na, guest pa. (You use both visitor and guest). Fire your copywriter,” one said.

“The acronym is so forced and dumb,” another commented.

“Worst name ever of all time,” radio DJ and content creator Tin Gamboa said. “-1/10 gross gross gross.” 

If this is the first step to their rebranding, tourists will no longer come to the Philippines,” another commented.

Frasco seemed to be aware of the criticisms as she posted a handwritten “love letter” while aboard a plane back to Cebu, clarifying that Bisita Be My Guest was not the new tourism slogan.

“I would like to thank you for your spirited comments [on] our forthcoming project, the Bisita Be My Guest Program. This is NOT the new tourism slogan of the Philippines as some have misinterpreted,” Frasco wrote.

“The slogan, on the other hand, is presently under review in the hopes that it may positively evolve, as we all have, after everything we’ve been through, and reflect the strength and the richness of our identity as a Filipino brand,” she added.

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