Secretary of Tourism Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. leaves for Germany this week to lead a 41-man delegation from the Philippines that will participate in the annual International Tourismus Bourse (ITB), the world’s largest travel trade show. Scheduled on March 7-11, 2012 in Berlin, ITB includes booth exhibits of national and local tourist offices, travel-related companies and other service providers.
Beach in Quezon Province
“Our participation in ITB this year is quite significant because it’s the first time for us to roll out the ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ campaign in a global event,” Jimenez said. He added, “About half of the travel business is traded through the international travel bourse.” The tourism chief explained that the ITB is institutional among travel wholesalers where direct selling and networking is done.
He said that unknown to many people, a big percentage of travel packages are bought from the travel bourse as compared with travel packages bought from the Internet, or elsewhere.
“We are very confident that the new campaign will create a higher awareness level of the Philippines as an exciting and must-experience destination in Asia as we move towards our goal of 10 million foreign visitors by 2016,” Jimenez further said.
The creation and execution of a new brand is embodied in the National Tourism Development Plan or NTDP, which is the core of the tourism agenda of the Aquino administration.
The Philippine booth exhibit this year covers a total area of 180 square meters, which the DOT will share with its private sector partners representing a record 19 hotels, resorts, travel agents and tour operators. Significantly, the destinations represented have expanded to include Manila, Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol and Negros Oriental. The Philippine stand will carry the new and colorful design of the “it’s more fun in the Philippines” campaign. T-shirts, buri hats, buttons, baller bands, bags, and other giveaways carrying the new design will also be distributed.
Apart from the booth exhibits, ITB also provides the Philippine delegates with a venue to establish and renew linkages with their industry counterparts in Europe and other source markets. Meanwhile, the formal launch party will be at the Felix disco club in Berlin on March 8, where Filipino talents will entertain invited VIP guests from the travel trade and media.
Every year ITB draws about 180,000 visitors and 10,000 exhibitors from over 180 countries. The Philippines has been participating in the fair since 1985. With the new Philippine brand gaining momentum, the DOT is optimistic of an even more fun and successful participation this year.