One-stop shop expo eyes more than 200 exhibitors
The Philippine Travel Mart, one of the countries’ largest travel expos, is set to be held in September 2022, promising significant markdowns on travel packages to further jumpstart tourism activities.
To be held from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, 2022 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Philippine Tour Operators Association Inc. (PHILTOA) president Fe Abling-Yu expressed hope the travel show would surpass last year’s 200 exhibitors.
“By that time, I’m hoping we’re already fully opened. You see, this is a one-stop-shop where we invite all regional offices,” she said.
“The discounts of hotels and resorts in this kind of venue are really the best rates they can offer,” she added.
This year, PHILTOA is looking at bringing in national tourism organizations from the Philippines’ top source markets like Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea.
“If we can bring in Korea, Japan, and other countries, that will bring in more audiences,” Abling-Yu said.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Department of Tourism continued to develop domestic tourism circuits and allocated about P91 million for product development efforts.
Apart from dive tourism, food and gastronomy, nature-based travel, the Philippines now offers promising product niches, including medical and wellness, pilgrimage, and culture tourism.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is also anticipating “high interest” in the country’s domestic cruise tourism products.
“The DOT is facilitating the domestic deployment of Genting Cruise Lines’ Superstar Aquarius, an international cruise vessel that proposes to run domestic itineraries in the Philippines, targeting Filipino domestic cruise passengers,” she said.
She described the reopening of borders as the beginning of the next phase of the industry’s ongoing recovery.
Meanwhile, travel and lifestyle brand airasia said eased border restrictions can stimulate the necessary economic activity to prompt the recovery of domestic and international tourism – the worst-hit sector during the pandemic.
“Over the past two years, we have learned to deal with COVID-19 with masks, social distancing and vaccines. But a key lesson that hasn’t sunk is the futility of long-term travel restrictions,” said Capital A Berhad CEO Tony Fernandes.
According to Fernandes, a better and a more sustainable approach would be to promote cost-effective policies such as the massive and speedy inoculation of the greater population.
“We should not ban things just to be seen as decisive. Measures should always aim to be proportionate and minimally disruptive,” he added.
The company welcomed the government’s decision to open the country’s international border with more relaxed travel and quarantine protocols for fully-vaccinated returning Filipinos and foreign travelers.
“We commend the Philippines’ sustainable approach toward travel. We can only hope that more countries in the ASEAN follow suit in strategically considering the upsides of relaxed border restrictions to their economic recovery. We at airasia will continue to support such measures while also consistently being a champion of safe travel,” Fernandes said.