Philippines Tour Operators Association Predicts Sharp Domestic Tourism Sales At Philippines Travel Mart

  • The 26th Philippines Travel Mart will kick off tomorrow until Sunday at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
  • Sales could reach close to US$2 million, up by 15% over last year.

The Philippines Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) is projecting sales of some PHP93 million during the Philippine Travel Mart (PTM). The 26th edition of the annual event will be held from September 4 to 6 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Theme of this year edition is “Philippines: the Fun Capital of Asia”.

During a news briefing hosted last Tuesday, PHILTOA President and PTM 2016 Chairman Cesar Cruz highlighted that the event would attract 50 travel exhibitors.Sales are expected to jump by 15% compared to 2014, growing from US$1.72 million to US$1.98 million.

Domestic tourism remains the bread and butter of Philippines tourism industry. While international tourist arrivals are due to reach this year the so-long-expected 5-million mark, domestic tourism reached last year a new record of 54 million arrivals, far higher than originally planned. In 2015, domestic tourism should be move in a range of 57 to 60 million total arrivals.

At the press briefing, Cesar Cruz acknowledged that “domestic tourism has surpassed all projections. PTM is one of the best platforms that has boosted domestic tourism as 85% of the generated sales at the event are still for Philippines destinations”.

PTM is now particularly targeting the so-called “Millennials” travellers. The market segment include individuals born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. PHILTOA President described this market as those “who include travelling as part of their budget. As long as they are employed, they will grab tour packages and are not looking for luxury destinations.”

PTM will consequently offer special promotions for destinations with little exposure. The “bucket list” package will highlight less popular places for tourists due to their lack of exposure. It includes for example Gigantes Island in Iloilo, Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte, Romblon and Catanduanes. Special tour packages priced between PHP1,000 to PHP5,000 per person will be on offer.

Felix Cruz highlighted also the fact that PTM partnered this year with the ABS-CBN Foundation to promote the latter’s ecotours in Puerto Princesa, Mindoro, Saranggani province, among others. During the news briefing, ABS-CBN Foundation Managing Director Regina Paz Lopez said she believes that “one of the keys to alleviating poverty in the country is to nurture the beauty around us.” The foundation has been investing in several local communities which have tourism potentials and promoting these sites through the foundation’s G-Eco Tours.
Money earned by the ecotourism sites “goes back to the community,” to help in the children’s education and living expenses of the families.

For his part, Cruz said Philtoa “has partnered with the foundation and G-Eco Tours in helping those communities. As we support the goal of the tourism industry, which is to alleviate poverty, we have formed a consortium to adopt the communities that ABS-CBN Foundation has adopted.”