‘Visit the Philippines Again 2016’
THE New York Times Travel Show, the largest and longest-running trade and consumer travel show in North America, ended a couple of weeks ago on a high note. The attendance to the show this year was the highest in nine years and the second most attended New York Times Travel Show ever.
Almost 30,000 people trooped to the Jacob Javits Convention Center over the weekend when the show was on, despite near-freezing weather. There were more than 500 exhibitors, including the Philippine Department of Tourism, an annual supporter of the travel show.
This year, the tourism department showcased the Tourism Promotion Board’s newest campaign, ‘Visit Philippines Again 2016’, an offshoot of the successful ‘Visit Philippines Year 2015’ project.
Consul General Mario De Leon, Jr., accompanied by Ms. Eleanor De Leon, Philippine Department of Tourism New York (PDOT-NY) Representative Michelle Cristalle Dy-Vera, as well as Consul Felipe Carino III, welcomed prospective travelers visiting the Philippine booth to learn about the latest tourism packages. Also in attendance were Ms. Zeny Pallugna and Mr. Joey Chanco of PDOT-NY and Ms. Daniella Usmanova representing Philippine Airlines.
A three-day event for travel enthusiasts, the New York Times Travel Show boasts of exhibitors representing over 150 countries. The event showcases products like exploring domestic and international hot spots, familiar favorites and under-the radar crowd-free escapades.
The travel show features, among others, the Travel Industry Conference, consumer seminars, and an interactive exhibition including more than 500 exhibitors from Africa, Asia, Australia/South Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Mexico and the United States. In addition to discounts and special offers, the show provides educational seminars and live entertainment for families, individuals, couples and seniors.
Consul General Mario De Leon lauded the efforts of the Philippine Department of Tourism and PDOT-New York which are actively promoting attractive travel packages to mainstream travelers as well as Filipino-Americans in cooperation with US travel operators and international air carriers. There were several outstanding travel packages to off-the-beaten-path destinations in the Philippines that are widely popular among American retirees and younger generation Filipino-Americans that can be marketed extensively, he added.
PDOT-New York’s Ms. Michelle Dy-Vera is upbeat for the tourism and travel industry in the Philippines this year. She said that her office is aiming to expand partnerships and develop cooperation with US travel operators and agents, mainstream organizations, including air carriers, to include travel packages to the Philippines in their promotional efforts and publications as well as encourage a side-trip to the Philippines for American travelers to Asia. She found this year’s attendees to the Travel Show with increased interest on the Philippine tourism destinations.
In order to further promote the campaign in New York, TPB through the DOT have placed ads on the Gray Line double-decker buses that bring NYC tourists to the various landmarks and destinations in the city.
2016 promises to be another good year for Philippine tourism as global publications continue to recommend the county as a must-visit destination.
National Geographic picked the Philippines as one of their top destinations for 2016, along with Burgundy, France; Glasgow, Scotland and Hokkaido, Japan. Cebu and Boracay made it to this year’s ‘Best Islands’ survey of Conde Nast’s Traveler magazine readers who unanimously voted for Palawan to be the best island in the world for the second year in a row.
“Visit the Philippines Again 2016”
The campaign was launched by the Department of Tourism Secretary, Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. last November at the World Travel Market 2015 held in The Gherkin in London. The campaign aims to attract more visitors from all over the world to the Philippines and encourage them to return this year for more fun and feel-good adventures.
As a kick-off to the campaign, the Philippines hosted the ASEAN Tourism Forum on 18 – 25 January 2016 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Similar to Visit Philippines Year 2015, other exciting activities have been lined up to sustain the interest of the traveling public.
Among the major events being showcased are Madrid Fusion Manila 2016 in April for foodies, the MTV Music Evolution 2016 in May for music-lovers and the 2016 Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in August for sports and outdoor enthusiasts.
Major musical acts such as Madonna and Andrea Bocelli have scheduled concerts in Manila as well.
As of October 2015, the Department of Tourism has recorded a total of 4,226,489 international tourist arrivals to the Philippines from January to October 2015. The figure is an 11.13% increase from the same period of the previous year.