ASEAN chairmanship boosted PH tourism marketing in London travel fair

MANILA — Department of Tourism (DOT) spokesperson Frederick Alegre on Thursday said the Philippine chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2017 has boosted market confidence during its promotion of tourism at the recently concluded World Travel Market (WTM), one of the biggest international travel trade fair held in London last week.

The Philippines from November 11 until the summit’s conclusion on November 14, hosted 20 leaders from ASEAN members states and its dialogue partners.

Considering the Marawi siege in Mindanao which just ended last month, the major regional event was labeled a success having ended without any of the leaders being hurt.

“The Philippines’ hosting of the ASEAN Summit in Manila is definitely a market confidence booster,” Alegre said.

The official, who also headed the Philippine contingent at the event, said the country has earned the confidence of travel business clients.

Alegre said a big media briefing was held at the Philippine Booth and was attended by over 20 British media and travel trade representatives.

The private sector delegates, including Philippine travel and tour operators and airline representatives, met their counterparts from United Kingdom for the B2B (business-to-business) meetings.

“Siargao is one of the destinations in Mindanao covered by the travel advisory from the British Foreign Commonwealth Office. But the Brits remain the top source of visitor arrivals in this new destination,” said Alegre.

“The message that we are trying to send should be clear. Philippine tourism, which has posted double-digit growth that is three times more than the global average, is experiencing a breakthrough phase,” he said.

Since August 2017, DOT noted there has been 6.36 percent growth out of United Kingdom despite the continuing challenges BREXIT has brought. The European Union and the UK are currently negotiating latter’s exit to the bloc after it triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in March 2017, following a historic referendum in 2016.

Despite this, DOT said there have been consistent growth rates of tourist arrivals in the Philippines from other key markets in Europe, such as Spain at +17.60 percent, Italy at +25.16 percent, Nordic Region at +8 percent and Ireland at +16.47 percent.  Joyce Ann Rocamora/