The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, the marketing and promotions arm of the Department of Tourism, is set to boost tourism in the Philippines as it simultaneously mounted the Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) and MICE Buyers Invitational (MICECONnect) 2019 on October 20 to 27, 2019 to promote the Philippines as a prime tourist destination for both leisure and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibits/Events).
Now on its 18th year, PHITEX is considered to be the biggest travel trade event in the country, with close to 200 sellers and 200 buyers participating. The main highlight of the event was the one and a half day business-to-business session between foreign buyers and local sellers to encourage tourism-related discourse among the participants, and open doors for business opportunities.
“PHITEX is mounted annually as a support for stakeholders in the travel trade industry,” says TPB COO Marie Venus Tan. “Instead of working as individual operators and sellers, we provide a platform for them to connect to hundreds of buyers from all over the world in one venue, which saves them precious time and money. The event also gave buyers a more comprehensive view of the different destinations and packages that they can sell to consumers, either as individual or bundled tours.”
Participants also took part in the PHITEX educational seminar where industry leaders discussed new trends in tourism marketing as well as marketing strategies in mature and emerging markets while keeping the theme of “Philippine Tourism: Trailblazing Responsible Travel and Inclusive Growth,” in mind.
Giving their insights were Thomas Graham, Co-Founder of Make A Difference Travel, Carlos Mori Rodriguez, the Chief Innovation Officer of EON The Stakeholder Relations Group, and Nelly NuezcaDillera, CESO III, the Deputy Executive Director of the Philippine Trade Training Center – Global MSME Academy, who ended the seminar on how DTI is building capabilities for halal development and certification.
Meanwhile, MICECONnect 2019 aims to accelerate the Philippine MICE industry by gathering MICE suppliers to showcase the country as a premium destination for international events and conferences.
Happening simultaneously with PHITEX, MICECONnect 2019 was the continuation of a two-year program as a comprehensive educational seminar for local MICE stakeholders to learn new and effective global trends, approaches, and methods. This year’s focus was conducting business networking opportunities to further develop the country’s MICE industry.
MICECONnect 2019 likewise featured B2B sessions for Philippine and foreign MICE buyers, and included a hotel and MICE venue inspection. Moreover, MICECONnect delegates were treated to post-event tours to highlight some of the country’s premier MICE destinations including Iloilo City, Bacolod, Davao, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Tagaytay, Manila and Batangas.
More importantly, both PHITEX and MICECONnect 2019 enable TPB to support and raise awareness on sustainable community-based tourism. Apart from promoting what the Philippines can offer, TPB also advocates for the protection of natural assets and expanding the benefits of tourism to communities that are directly and indirectly affected by the industry, consequently helping DOT towards achieving its goals for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.