Foreign buyers tour E. Visayas’ key destinations

TACLOBAN CITY — At least 11 foreign buyers visited Eastern Visayas for their familiarization tour as part of the Philippine Travel Exchange (Phitex) held on Oct. 19 to 28 held in Manila.

The 11 buyers are among the more than 850 local and foreign participants who took part in the 2019 Phitex with the theme “Philippine Tourism: Trailblazing Responsible Travel and Inclusive Growth.”

On Sunday and Monday, the group toured the Sohoton Cave in Basey, Samar; Ulot Extreme Torpedo Boat Ride in Paranas, Samar; Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte; and landmarks in Tacloban City.

“This tour is an opportunity for buyers from other countries who chose Eastern Visayas for a familiarization tour because they wanted to market our different products here,” said Norberto Numbre, Department of Tourism Region 8 senior tourism officer.

Foreign tourists are from Australia, France, the US, India, China, Spain, and Poland. They met with local tour and hotel operators to exchange contacts and information on the services they offer.

“We are hoping and expecting that more foreign tourists will visit the region after this,” Numbre said in an interview Tuesday.

“These buyers are actually tour operators, who joined Phitex because they wanted to go to countries that they haven’t marketed yet,” he added.

Phitex, which started in 1996, is the country’s annual leading marketing event aimed at strengthening the country’s brand image and encouraging the participants to promote affordable and competitive tourism packages.

The event hosts qualified buyers all over the world to participate in a one and half day’s tabletop business appointments with Philippine sellers and have actual experience of what the country can offer as a tourism destination through pre/post tours.

Invited foreign buyers have the opportunity to experience the fun and excitement of the multitude of activities during the post tours to key Philippine attractions and destinations. Roel Amazona/PNA-