The Philippines is once again at the forefront of the global tourism industry with its participation in the World Travel Market (WTM) 2019 in Excel, London. Organized by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the marketing and promotions arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Philippines’ participation was able to generate more than P62 million based on partial sales leads gathered or a 35.73% return of investment.
With Korea, China, the US and Japan topping the country’s tourist arrivals, the Philippines’ participation in WTM strengthens the country’s presence in the international tourism and travel arena, particularly Europe and brought it close to its goal of attracting 8.2 million tourists by the end of 2019.
The WTM provided a platform for the Philippine private sector to conduct business-to-business meetings and renew linkages with their tourism markets around the world. It also enabled TPB and DOT to generate marketing and promotions leads and stay abreast with the latest trends to support its bid to promote the Philippines as the preferred destination.
“The private sector always looks forward to joining WTM,” said DOT Assistant Secretary Roberto Alabado III. “In fact, the Philippines gets very good tourists arrivals from the UK, with a 10% increase from last year. But our participation is not just about tapping the UK market. Through WTM, which is the Olympic of travel fairs, we are able to tap key travel and tourism markets in Europe and the rest of the world.”
The Philippine delegation was composed of industry partners and stakeholders including DOT-accredited tourism establishments led by Amorita Resorts, El Nido Resorts, Bohol Beach Club, Nature Wellness Village, Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar, Movenpick Resort and Spa Boracay,; travel and tour operators Baron Travel Corporation, Rajah Tours, Annset Holidays, Inc., Intas Destinations Management, Inc., Travel Experts, Inc. as well as the Clark Development Corporation.
Meanwhile, highlights of the Philippine booth included ‘slow fashion’ featuring the colorful ancestral art of weaving from the province of Kalinga in the island of Luzon, local and bright-colored banig from Basey, Samar and intricate fashion accessories made of agsam from the province of Surigao del Sur.
Also making a big splash were the Itogon coffee served all day by no less than top notch baristas Kiddo Cosio and Silvester Samonte of El Union Café and Raoul Peralta of the social enterprise Henry & Sons, as well coffee pairings featuring Pili Latte and Concerva. Award-winning chefs Jam Melchor and Chef Rica Buenaflor also drew huge crowds with their vegan laing, bringhe and adobo.
And proving that Filipinos are world-class entertainers, the crowd was treated to a performance by award-winning artists of folkloric group La Lira Filipina, headlined by vocalist Princess Virtudazo and violinist and concertmaster Merjohn Lagaya.
Through active participation in global tourism industry events like WTM, TPB is more than optimistic that the Philippines will indeed be the next must-see destination in Asia.