Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) is looking at pursuing its partnership with the Expedia Group to promote the Philippines in this year’s winter season in the United Kingdom.
In an online exchange with the BusinessMirror, Tourism Attaché for London Gerard S. Panga said, “Many British travellers turn to Expedia for flight, hotel, flight+hotel package options. So visibility is good, plus we get to promote also our partner hotels and airlines.” The ongoing partnership with online travel agency Expedia for the UK market, is with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the DOT’s marketing arm.
He said, the project with Expedia, “is in the work program this year, but we won’t implement it until our country opens to foreign leisure travelers. If ever, we are looking at the fourth quarter to position our products for the winter travel season.”
He added, the DOT also has another partnership with Hotels.com, a subsidiary of Expedia, targeting the Scandinavian market. “But the adjusted work program is still under review; we might implement this in 2021 instead because Sweden is badly hit also by Covid-19.”
The DOT, TPB and local tourism stakeholders have been holding several online meetings and webinars with foreign buyers and companies engaged in promoting destinations, in preparation for the lifting of international travel restrictions and the reopening of the Philippines to inbound tourists. For now, the DOT is looking at opening up some key destinations with no Covid-19 cases to domestic tourists and select foreign visitors from virus-free markets as well, in a concept known as travel corridors or travel bubbles.
n a recent presentation to the DOT and tourism stakeholders, Expedia Group Business Development Manager Kathryn Alker showed there was still a high amount of interest in the Philippines.
For June 2020, most of the searches on Expedia’s site for the Philippines came from the UK and Germany, among the so-called EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) market. Searches from the UK grew by 16 percent week on week, as per the latest reference period ending July 21. Searches for tour packages grew 6 percent week on week, and searches for the Philippines from July 1 to 21, accounted for 36 percent of total searches on its site from the EMEA markets.
Other than UK and Germany, other EMEA markets which have been searching about “Manila” in June 2020 were France, Spain, and Italy, while in general, top searches about Manila on Expedia came from the United States, Taiwan, Canada, Japan, and the Philippines.
(Source: Business Mirror, Manila)