Held on 20 and 21 September 2023, the Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) 2023, organised by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, generated more than 296 million Philippine pesos in negotiated sales. This impressive result was achieved through the two-day tabletop meetings held between international buyers and local stakeholders at the Fili-NuStar Hotel in Cebu.
PHITEX, also known as the Philippine Travel Exchange, is an initiative by the Tourism Promotions Board Philippines (TPB), which serves as the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT). This initiative was honoured with the National Tourism Initiative of the Year award at The Gov Media Awards, presented by Gov Media Magazine in Singapore last year. The awards recognise exceptional government projects and initiatives in the Asia Pacific region and the evaluation process involved a distinguished panel of experts, including leaders from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and the TPB Chief Operating Officer Marga Nograles graced the opening of PHITEX 2023, which brought together a total of 164 seller delegates from 119 Philippine companies and 88 buyers from 19 countries around the world to showcase the Philippines’ finest tourism attractions, establishments, services and products to a global audience.
Negotiated Deals Reaches P296-M
The PHITEX event this year was a huge success, generating a total projected income of 296,213,032 pesos. This impressive amount includes the proceeds from sponsorship and participation fees.
Secretary Frasco, who was the keynote speaker of the event, expressed his gratitude to the entire delegation, “Our gratitude goes to you for your continued belief in the potential of Philippine tourism and your love for the Philippines.”
Frasco highlighted the country’s impressive progress in tourism recovery. She pointed out that as of 19 September 2023, there had been a record-breaking arrival of over 3.8 million international visitors. Additionally, the estimated revenue generated from tourism amounted to over 316.9 billion pesos. During her speech, Frasco explained that the program’s inclusivity invites international buyers to discover the abundant diversity that the Philippines has to offer. However, what truly distinguishes the country as a remarkable tourism destination is none other than its greatest asset: the Filipino people.
Tapping Today’s Internet Connectivity in Marketing Tourism
With this year’s topic, “Tourism Sustainability in the Era of Internet of Things (IoT),” PHITEX is drawing attention to the Philippines’ digitisation and sustainability initiatives, which are necessary to keep up with international standards. In her opening remarks, TPB COO Marga Nograles emphasised the importance of exposing international buyers to more than just business transactions, mentioning the organisation’s plans to arrange post-tours to various community-based tourist sites in order to showcase local grassroots initiatives, as well as local textiles, culinary treasures, and eco-tourism activities.
According to Nograles, amidst this transformative surge, the tourism industry should be prepared to not only embrace the digital evolution but also take the lead in guiding the way. It is important to ensure that tradition and modernisation coexist harmoniously.
The PHITEX 2023 event was held in collaboration with esteemed partners including NUSTAR Resort Cebu, Fili Hotel – NUSTAR Cebu, Destileria Limtuaco & Co. Inc., Uni-Orient Travel, Inc, The Muse Hotel Boracay, Wine Club, Charlton Trade, Cebu Pacific, 2GO and Bigseed Public Relations and Events.
The Department of Tourism Region VII, Office of the Provincial Governor of Cebu, and the local government units (LGUs) of Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Carcar City, Argao and Talisay also provided support for PHITEX 2023.
To access additional details about PHITEX, please visit the official website.