PHITEX 2016 | Selling Philippine Tourism to the World
Just when you think that tourism is all about having pretty locations with tourists taking selfies, a great deal of work actually stands behind it. PHITEX 2016 is one of those big travel trade events that bring in the tourism business without you knowing it.
The Philippine Travel Exchange or PHITEX is an annual business-to-business travel trade occasions where we sell our tourism products to the world. This year, more than 200 international buyers from over 30 countries gathered together to build partnerships, create more opportunities & strengthen ties.
PHITEX 2016 was participated by 199 local sellers from 132 companies across the Philippines. This includes travel & tour operators, property developers from big hospitality & entertainment industry, airline companies, museums & other local brands.
Through the efforts of the Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, its 15th run was staged last September 4-6 at the Marriot Hotel in Pasay City, replete with tabletop business sessions, educational seminars & socials.
PHITEX 2016: Bigger Business
The foreign tourists that we see holidaying in the Philippines are actually products of trade events such as this. And the tourism dollars that they spend in our country are what helps our economy afloat.
PHITEX 2016 provides the avenue for our tourism products to be sold to international buyers through our own travel distributors. And by tourism products, we do not only mean the attractions but also accommodations, activities, tours & food.
We also offer the Philippines as a venue for international meetings, incentive trips, conferences & exhibits.
Over time, visitor arrivals in the Philippines have always been dominated by short-haul tourists from Korea, Japan, China & other ASEAN countries. PHITEX 2016 brought in new buyers from as far as Norway, Denmark, Morocco, Hungary & Denmark. This development signals a brighter light for more long-haul tourists from new markets to visit the Philippines.
Face-to-face transactions still largely matter even in this age of internet-driven business styles. On this event, buyers & sellers come to the table to discuss, negotiate & build corporate ties—eye-to-eye.
Philippine sellers play a crucial part in the purchase process. They do not only push our multitude of products but they also act as ambassadors armed with a wealth of insights in choosing the destinations, channels & package that are right for their target markets.
Where are we?
Tourism is a key economic dynamo & the Philippines is taking it seriously. As our archipelagos are quite detached from the rest of our Southeast Asian neighbors, it takes great length of effort to achieve our 6 million tourist arrival goals for 2016.
From the south of Thailand, they can cross to Malaysia & further to Singapore. Indonesia on the eastern side, although also separated is just a quick flight away.
The Philippines may not be close to the forerunners like Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore & Vietnam, but we are catching up & doing it at breakneck speed.
Branding the Philippines
Our islands are not called “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” for nothing. We are a caboodle of treasures & the greatest tasks of bringing these to the world are in the hands of the Tourism Promotions Board.
PHITEX 2016 was led by Ms. Susana J. Del Mundo, as the secretary general. With her was Ms. Maricon Ebreo, TPB’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Marketing & Promotions. It was also graced by the presence of the Department of Tourism’s secretary, Ms. Wanda Corazon Teo.
Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Boracay & Ilocos are among our staple destination products. But this year we are including in our highlights new & exciting destinations like Bicol, Cordillera & some parts of Visayas & Mindanao.
While TPB & DOT put in so much work in increasing the international arrivals, it also create side-by-side promotional activities to encourage domestic tourists to explore the Philippines more.
Our national tourism agencies acknowledge that Filipinos are not off-season fillers but are a constant & strong source of revenue from tourism economics.
PHITEX 2016 & other travel trade events are driving forces in keeping the vibrant state of our tourism industry. So the next time you see a tourist, whether local or foreign, or whenever you find yourself traveling around the country, always remember, so much effort is being put together to make it all fun & wonderful for us.