The Philippines’ participation in the 2010 International Tourism Bourse (ITB) held recently at the 160,000-square-meter Messe Berlin Exhibition Grounds in Germany brought to the spotlight the country’s rich and colorful culture.
El Nido Palawan Philippines
One of the world’s leading trade shows, the 44th ITB Berlin had over 110,000 trade visitors and over 11,000 travel stakeholders from 187 countries.
The event opened with a grand performance by the partner country, Turkey, of the Fire of Anatolia, a popular Turkish dance group which presented SUN, a colorful show which brought the Western and Eastern cultures together.
The successful exhibit was well represented from all tourism segments, which were largely leisure, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibits), and business travel. Tourism stakeholders, which included tour operators, airline companies, hotels, new technology, services and suppliers also, showed a strong presence.
More than 7,000 accredited journalists, tourism media and communication professionals from 90 countries covered the five-day event.
According to Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Joseph ‘Ace’ Durano, “We are proud to be part of the world’s leading tourism trade event. It is an important platform where Europeans and international guests can get a glimpse of our country’s distinctive culture.”
The world’s leading trade fair for the international travel industry revealed an extremely positive situation for the year.
David Ruetz, senior manager of ITB Berlin, said, “One welcome development is the fact that the proportion of foreign trade visitors from Asia and Africa has more than doubled. This is largely attributable to the impending FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and to the ITB Asia.”
Meanwhile, DOT Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque Jr. said, “For this year, the ITB is tapping the luxury spending market, from the segment of wealthy European holidaymakers.”
On the part of Director Verna Buensuceso, Team Europe head, she said, “We have acquired much needed information on web travel. The market for mobile travel services is growing at a breath-taking pace, and ITB Berlin is the first trade fair for the travel industry that is providing it with a separate platform.”
The DOT presented the country’s 7,107 islands of sun, sea and sand – a welcome destination for European travelers escaping winter. More than diving, trekking, caving, and other adventure sports, the DOT also offered newer tourism packages like bird watching.
The Philippine booth featured the colorful culture of the South. A performer playing the musical instrument, Kulintang, and a traditional B’laan weaver were among the highlights of the exhibit.
Another colorful sector that stole the show at the ITB was the Lesbian and Gay travel segment, which featured interesting characters, dressed in flamboyant outfits.