The Philippine Travel Agencies Association is currently exploring how it can expand its biggest annual Travel Tour Expo beyond its normal format, citing several international companies and airlines that would want to participate in the event.
In a press conference, Marlene Dado Jante PTAA president and TTE 2018 organizing committee chairman, said around 400 industry stakeholders and airline companies will occupy the 16,000 square meters of floor space at the expo, and offer “great, big” travel deals to Filiapino travel enthusiasts.
“When we open on February 8, it will be a very special moment for the country’s tourism industry as Travel Tour Expo will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. Since 1993, we have been bringing together all the stakeholders under one roof. We are playing a key role in the growth of Philippine tourism,” Jante said.
She said the number of exhibitors this year grew by 21 percent compared to last year, and the expo figure “is currently considered as the highest figure in its history.”
From 2011 to 2017, TTE exhibitors have grown by 30 percent, as the expo went from having three halls to covering all of SMX Convention Center’s eight halls.
For TTE 2018, Jante said the expo will also occupy all the meeting rooms of SMX in Pasay City.
“This is the reason why we are pushing forward and searching for ways to evolve the expo from its venue, program, and offerings to the public. Right now, the TTE is running parallel to the growth of our tourism industry. In its current format, there is a need to expand,” she said.
Aside from Philippine tourism stakeholders, the TTE plays host to hotels and resorts, airlines, tour operators, cruise lines, theme parks, and national tourism organizations from across the world.
It also features embassies and regional tourism offices, and local government units.
At the same time, the third installment of the International Travel Trade Expo will be tucked into the expo during the duration of TTE 2018.
The iTTE is the business-to-business component of TTE, which allows PTAA members to have pre-appointed one-on-one meetings with executives from international tourism companies and national tourism organizations.
Among the countries and territories expected to participate in iTTE include Australia, Cambodia, China, Egypt, France, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United States, and Vietnam.
Some of the options being looked at by the PTAA are venue expansion or holding the TTE at two different locations.
“The PTAA has to seriously consider having a plausible secondary venue open along with SMX in the future because of the sheer number of exhibitors that want to participate. At the same time, we also see the iTTE becoming a key element of the country’s tourism industry, so there is really a need for more space,” Jante said.
She explained that any expansion has to make sense logistically and within the fiscal capacity of the PTAA. She also said the TTE venue has to be easily accessible to visitors coming from any location.