Back view of young woman in casual clothing with long hair carrying hat while walking on path through rice plantation on Philippines

DOT, TPB lead PH delegation in two key travel fairs this month

Tourism stakeholders head to Dubai and Seoul this week and next to promote Philippine destinations.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) and Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) are poised to banner the country’s best tourism offerings in back-to-back participations to key travel and trade events this month: the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC), which starts today until May 9; and the Seoul International Travel Fair (SITF) at the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center in Seoul, South Korea on May 8 to 10.

Established in 1994, the ATM 2024 is considered as the gateway and leading global travel and tourism platform for the Middle East inbound and outbound travel industry, facilitating $2.5 billion in deals and attracting thousands of exhibitors and travel trade visitors from around the world.

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The SITF, also known as the Korea World Travel Fair (KOTFA), serves as the largest international travel fair in South Korea. With its 38-year history, SITF / KOTFA combines inbound, outbound, and “intra-bound” tourism sectors in one marketplace to foster mutual relationships among diverse tourism businesses.

“With the momentum from increased tourist arrivals from the Middle East and the resurgence of Korean tourists to the Philippines, it’s vital to sustain our visibility at travel and trade events and to reinforce the country’s position as a preferred destination and top-of-mind choice for travelers from these markets based,” Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said.

On its 30th edition last year, the ATM received a record-breaking attendance of 40,000 people, and gathered more than 2,100 exhibitors and representatives from over 150 countries at the DWTC, demonstrating the booming travel and tourism sector in the Middle East.

The baroque church of Paoay, Ilocos Norte

A total of 16 participating hotel and resorts, tour operators, and destination management companies compose the Philippine delegation to the ATM 2024 led by Secretary Frasco and TPB COO Maria Margarita Montemayor Nograles.

Nograles said, “There’s been a remarkable surge in outbound tourism from the Middle East, particularly from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Based on data from Future Market Insights, we see a growing appetite for international travel among GCC citizens and we see this trend rising in the coming years,” COO Nograles said.

Among the participating tour operators and destination management companies are Annset Holidays Inc.; Ark Travel Express;; Boracay Adventures Travel N Tours; CTPH Tours; Rajah Travel Corporation; and VIA Philippines Travel Corporation. Meanwhile, delegates from the hotel and resorts include Atmosphere Resorts & Spa (Dauin, Negros Oriental); Bellevue Hotel; El Nido Resorts; Lihim Resorts, El Nido by Araw Hospitality Group (El Nido, Palawan); Lalaguna Villas Luxury Dive Resort & Spa (Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro); Lihim Resorts; The Manila Hotel; Megaworld Hotels & Resorts; Okada Manila; and The Farm at San Benito.

World Heritage Site Ifugao rice terraces in Batad

At SITF / KOFTA local and international tourism organizations from more than 70 countries will participate to promote their destinations. In 2023, a total of 1,130 exhibitors comprising 284 international and local companies from 43 countries participated. The fair attracted approximately 50,000 visitors.

Coinciding with the 39th SITF is the staging of the World Tourism Industry Conference (WTIC) on May 9, which will serve as an important gathering of tourism ministers and industry leaders who will explore business opportunities.

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