The Department of Tourism (DOT) will banner leisure tourism as it seeks more inroads into the European outbound tourism market at the Otdykh Leisure 2011 and International French Travel Market (IFTM) TopResa 2011 fairs in September.
Club Paradise in Coron Palawan
“European vacationers are most interested in sun, sea and leisure. The theme for our participation in both events, “Lifestyle Philippines”, therefore aims to position the Philippines as the perfect place to enjoy all of these,” Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim remarked.
Launched in 1995, the Otdykh Leisure Fair in Moscow is the largest autumn travel fair in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Beach, long-haul and exotic destinations like the Philippines are among the most sought-out by trade visitors at the Fair, who last year numbered around 68,000.
The Fair attracted 1,205 exhibitors representing 110 countries and regions last year, when it awarded a special diploma to the Philippines for the latter’s active participation. It is also the most well attended European travel fair by Philippine travel industry representatives, with 19 establishments joining last year.
This year, the DOT has also organized a post-event selling mission to the city of St. Petersburg to maximize the presence of participating travel industry partners.
Another leading tourism event in the continent, IFTM TopResa is France’s exclusive business-to-business international tourism exhibition, attracting 27,000 industry professionals and 160 exhibitors in 2010. The Philippines returns to TopResa this year after last joining in 2008.
To date, 12 companies have confirmed attendance to the Otdykh Leisure Fair 2011 while four have signed on to join IFTM TopResa 2011.
Europe is an important source for the Philippines because travellers from this market stay longer and spend more. French and Russian/CIS tourists stay in the country for an average of 13 and 18 nights, respectively, according to the latest Department figures.
Russia is among the Philippines’ fastest growing emerging markets, posting a 37.17% gain on 2009 figures by sending 14,642 visitors last year. A total of 9,820 visitors from Russia arrived between January to June this year, a 34.48% jump from the same period in 2010.
France’s 27,302 tourist arrivals in 2010 were good for an 11.11% increase from the previous year. Growth for 2011 has so far steadied at 7.28%, on account of the 15,061 visitors from the country received during the first six months.