The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines and the Department of Tourism (DOT) expect to welcome more foreign visitors to the Philippines after successfully generating over 100M Philippine pesos in sales leads and showcasing the country’s best offerings at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) held from 02 to 05 February 2023 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
The ATF is the biggest annual tourism event in the ASEAN region, attracting key tourism stakeholders including policy makers, industry leaders, and tourism-related service providers. This year, the Philippine delegation was represented by 16 local exhibitors from the airline industry, tour operators, and accommodations to network and engage with 115 international buyers at the ATF Travel Exchange (TRAVEX).
“Over and above our impressive turnout in the number of sales leads, I am in much awe of how the participation and performance of the Philippines depicted the excellence and heart of the Filipino brand which truly brought the best of the country to the ASEAN region,” said TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Margarita Montemayor Nograles.
The Philippine pavilion showcased the country’s rich cultural heritage and award-winning destinations such as Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan, as well as Kaulayaw Coffee sampling and a dynamic cultural martial arts performance from the Lapu-Lapu Arnis de Abanico who displayed the vigor and energy so symbolic of the resurgence of the Philippine Tourism Industry.
Philippine sellers and foreign delegates also had a taste of Philippine cuisine and culture through a hosted luncheon prepared by the Grand Rohan Jogja hotel which also featured a Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) cultural performance along with a musical medley by Filipino world-class talents.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco welcomed the guests to the event with an invitation to explore the country’s various tourism products, “We aim to give you the best of the Filipino to remind you that while the Philippines continues to be a top-of-mind destination all over the world, there is also so much more to our beaches, our dive sites, our mountain ranges, and our underground rivers. There’s our food, our living cultural traditions, and many many components that give you a window into the soul of the Filipino,” said Tourism Secretary Frasco.
Meanwhile, the Philippines garnered prestige during the ASEAN Tourism Standards Awards, which recognized outstanding tourism businesses and destinations in the region that have complied with the international association’s tourism standards.
The recipients were Inandako’s Bed and Breakfast, Gina’s Homes, Sid Homestay, Hide Away House, and Maryhilz Homestay for ASEAN Homestay Awardees; Cordillera Convention Hall, William Tan Enterprises Inc. (Caltex Irawan), DEU 818 Corporation (High Ridge Restaurant), and Shell OGI at Northwalk 2, City Environment and Management Office (Botanical Garden and Wright Public Toilets) bagged the ASEAN Public Toilet Award; Palaui Environmental Protectors Association (PEPA) received the ASEAN community-based tourism citation; while the Clinic at the Hilton Clark and Quan Spa at the Clark Marriott Hilton were recognized as winners of the ASEAN Spa Services.
TPB is keen to participate in the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2024 to be hosted by Laos.