The Philippines joined hundreds of exhibitors at the World Travel Market (WTM) show in London, as part of an ongoing long-term strategy to boost tourism into the country.
Together with members of the Philippine travel industry, the Department of Tourism (DOT) presented to a global audience of travel professionals who are looking for business opportunities.
The annual event, held at ExCel Exhibition Centre in the Royal Docks, is among the biggest events in the travel industry, attracting thousands of participants from all over the world including tourism boards, hotels, tour operators, entrepreneurs, airlines and specialist publications.
“The World Travel Market is a very significant venue where international stakeholders composed of different markets and countries come together for an intensive business-to-business exchange with immediate results,” said Ace Durano, Secretary of Tourism.
Taking an active part in the WTM for 25 years, the DOT is one of the pioneers in the travel mart, a major venue for promotion on an international platform, and responding to issues and concerns of tour operators, clients, and consumers.
“We have high expectations from this trade fair. We’ve been around the world attending shows, and it’s our first time to really tap into the UK and European market,” said Isabel Garcia from Boracay Regency Beach Resort, who attended the expo for the first time.
She added that these events have the potential to attract new interests, “This is the best channel to invite all Europeans to go to the Philippines and Boracay as their next destination. It plays a big factor in improving sales, production, and tourism.”
The trade event also provided a positive outlook for tourism in 2010. The tourism chief noted, “As gleaned from the WTM Global Trends Report, we are looking at a better year ahead, with new measures in place to reverse the slump and forge on to recovery.”
Citing the research of Euromonitor International, Durano said that the sector is more solid than ever with a major shift of priorities by reinforcing strengths and resources to address the threats.
The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer complements the WTM Report, which indicated that ‘the rate of decline has eased from January to August of 2009,’ and stated that a ‘moderate growth can be expected’ for the following year.
Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque, Jr., highlighting results from the travel mart said, “Closing deals, creating open communication, and generating publicity in the international arena are just some of the tangible benefits we reap from large-scale events such as the WTM.” Jarque also mentioned that a number of resorts have likewise managed to become part of international tour programs, while others were selected to be featured in specialist publications like Luxury Spas.
Domingo Enerio III, DOT-London Tourism Attache expressed, “We are one of the few who enjoy a firm partnership with the private sector. And this united front that we exhibit to our markets definitely gains us their trust and confidence.”
Joining DOT was a host of service providers from the Philippine travel sector, including Annset Holidays, Baron Travel Corporation, Blue Horizons Travel & Tours, Bellaroca Island Resort, Boracay Regency Beach Resort/Regency Lagoon, El Nido Resorts, Eskaya Beach Resort, Filtravel, Hermes Agencia de Viajes, Intas Destination Management, Manila Hotel, Misibis Bay Raintree/HSAI Collection of Hotels and Resorts Philippines, One World Travel Express, Philippine Eagle Foundation, Rajah Tours Philippines, Shroff International, Southern Travel Corporation, St. Christopher Travel, Surelite Travel, and T.R.I.P.S. Travel.
The World Travel Market is one of largest gatherings of travel professionals from around the globe. Celebrating its 30th year, it provides an international platform on which tourism boards and service providers could forge business relationships and create opportunities for each other. It is also an open forum where travel professionals could address issues affecting the industry, including sustainability, technological developments, economic conditions, trends, emerging markets, and the environment.