The Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) 2018 (the Philippines’ largest government-sponsored travel industry event) welcomed 250 travel agents and industry professionals from around the world for a series of one-to-one business development meetings with the country’s leading hotels, tour providers and tourism leaders.
Held in Manila from August 29 to September 4, the event highlighted the GCC countries as a key emerging outbound market for the Philippines, with a total of 12 outbound tour operators from the region in attendance, including four representatives from Bahrain, four from the UAE, two from Saudi Arabia, one from Oman and one from Qatar.
This year’s edition of PHITEX discussed the main topic of ‘Tourism is our Business; Guarding our Environment, Reliving Our Culture’, analysing the importance of conserving natural resources through tourism and bringing culture to the forefront of exploration as a paramount strategic goal for the country’s future tourism success.
In addition to a full schedule of planned meetings, the invited delegates were also provided opportunities to experience the best that the Philippines has to offer first-hand, through organised tours to various regions around the country.
Head of product and marketing development – Middle East, Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT), Dakila Gonzales remarked on the event: “The Middle East is a key strategic market for Philippines inbound travel that is well serviced by a number of direct flights.
“Through this initiative and our ongoing promotional efforts in the region, we expect a greater number of Middle Eastern tour operators to produce new and exciting tailored packages and itineraries for their clients that highlight the Philippines uniqueness as a destination to provide quality, value for money experiences, all with the fun and genuine hospitality that Filipinos are famous for,” Gonzales added.
PDOT is proactively promoting and positioning the Philippines within the GCC as a destination for value, new experiences and fun, especially for families, young professionals, luxury travel experience seekers, adventure seekers and those seeking culinary delights and opportunities to come into contact with Filipino talent, whether it be through up-and-coming cutting-edge design, fashion, jewellery design or traditional crafts.