The grandest annual fair dedicated to promoting the diverse beauty of the Philippines is back as the Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) presents the 34th Philippine Travel Mart (PTM). The event is set to take place from September 1 to 3 at the SMX Convention Center Manila, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.
Bringing together nearly 300 exhibitors from all 17 regions of the country, the Philippine Travel Mart offers a comprehensive showcase of hotels, resorts, travel agencies, tour operators, and tourism offices, all gathered under one roof.
The one stop set-up allows enthusiastic travel fair patrons to explore a wide range of vacation packages from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. One of the highlights for visitors is the opportunity to avail exclusive discounts and deals available only for on-the-spot bookings.
As Mary Ann Ong, Philtoa’s First Vice President, aptly pointed out during a press conference, it is the domestic market that continues to drive tourism in the Philippines. Well-loved destinations like Baguio, Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan still enjoy strong demand for packaged tours.
“We see this because of the strong demand for packaged tours in popular destinations like Baguio, Boracay, Cebu, Palawan. What the Philtoa is trying to achieve by way of this fair is to entice Filipinos to discover the hidden gems such as the Zamboanga Peninsula, Quirino, and Soccsksargen [South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos]. These are just some of the places that are under-the-radar but deserve to be explored, appreciated and enjoyed,” Ong mentioned.
This significant event not only serves as a platform for promoting domestic tourism but also stands as a testament to the power of collaboration within the travel industry.
Philtoa president Fe Abling-Yu said, “We are grateful for the strong partnerships with Philtoa, the Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board, Philippine Airlines, and our media partners. The 34th Philippine Travel Mart is not only a showcase of our country’s incredible destinations but also a celebration of our industry’s resilience and strength as a major contributor to the country’s growth and progress.”
The latest data from DoT revealed that the Philippines has already welcomed over 3 million international tourist arrivals this 2023. Inbound tourism receipts have surged by over 500 percent, reaching P212.4 billion, a remarkable increase from the P35.6 billion generated during the same period last year.
“These numbers signify the success of our relentless efforts in promoting our country’s countless attractions on the global stage, contributing to the Philippines’ recovery and continuous economic growth. Furthermore, this progress enhances our nation’s reputation as a tourism powerhouse in Asia, creating employment and livelihood opportunities for thousands of Filipinos,” TPB COO Marga Nograles shared during the event’s media launch.
Nograles remained optimistic that these figures can rise even higher, given the country’s immense wealth of natural resources, including beaches, islands, tourist attractions, and world-renowned brand of hospitality.
“The Philippine Travel Mart serves as a significant avenue to showcase this collaboration with our tourism stakeholders. It has unlocked the potential of our globally acclaimed and emerging destinations, providing greater investment and business opportunities for our tourism stakeholders,” she said.
“We echo the sentiments of our Tourism Secretary, Christina Frasco, in developing new regional tourism surveys that highlight nature-based tourism, MICE tourism, food and gastronomy, heritage and culture, health and wellness, the arts, and more. The Tourism Promotions Board is fully committed to innovation and expanding our tourism portfolio. With your unwavering partnership and commitment, I am confident that we will exceed expectations in this exciting opportunity,” she finally said.