MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Buoyed by the country’s participation in the recently concluded Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) in Berlin, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and its attached agency, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines has recorded, as of writing, an impressive estimate of PHP 260 million worth of negotiated sales from more than 300 business meetings during the three-day networking event.
The aforementioned figures show the Philippines’ strong demand in the world’s largest travel and tourism trade fair, further brightening the prospects for the local tourism industry’s recovery and for the country’s positioning as a tourism powerhouse in Asia.
“We brought the biggest Philippine delegation to the ITB Berlin 2023 with the intention of showcasing the best of the best of our country and our culture, and reintroducing to the world our greatest asset: the warmth and hospitality of the Filipino people. The optimism and excitement with which all of this was received show the world that the possibilities are endless for the potential of Philippine tourism,” said Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco.
The Philippine delegation included tour operators, online travel agencies, travel websites, and communities with 26 co-exhibitors, showcasing the country’s natural beauty and rich culture to over 160,000 guests.
TPB COO Maria Margarita Montemayor Nograles cited that the positive outcome of the Philippines’ participation in ITB Berlin strengthened the country’s position to be a world-class tourist destination. “We are proud to bear witness once again at how ITB continues to live up to its reputation for being the largest travel trade show in the world. I am so happy to share that the Philippines truly championed in giving the world a view into our distinct and diverse destinations, culture, and heritage in this momentous event,” she said.
Further bringing home accolades, the two cities in Negros Occidental, Sagay and Bago won the Green Destination Story Awards for their inspirational initiatives for sustainable tourism. With its entry, “Mangrove Forest Protection through Community-based EcoTourism Project, Sagay placed second in the Nature and Scenery Category and won the People’s Choice Award while Bago City’s entry, “Reviving the Majestic Diversity of Bago Watershed” took the third spot in the Environment and Climate Category.
The event highlighted the Philippines’ rich culture and sustainable tourism with its weavers’ hand-loom products which are passed down from generation to generation to preserve its tradition and heritage including the Tinalak of South Cotabato and Yakan of Zamboanga. Aside from that, Kape de Filipina’s coffee and chocolates and Ayan’s delicious Filipino cuisine were also served to delight the guests.
ITB Berlin News, the show’s official daily, has partnered with Click A Tree as its sustainability partner. Award-winning speaker, entrepreneur and Click A Tree Founder Chris Kaiser has selected the Philippines to be the site of its tree-planting project for this year’s cause. The site will be in Davao Oriental, Mindanao. Kaiser will be visiting the Philippines in September for the tree-planting initiative.
With the long-term goal of securing increased arrivals, receipts, and investments for the country, TPB annually participates in ITB Berlin, which provides the Philippine travel trade an opportunity to network with relevant decision-makers from new and existing tourism markets across Europe, America, and Asia.