Over 200 international buyers from 30 countries, together with more than 220 local sellers, converged at the Marriott Grand Ballroom for this year’s Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX), one of the biggest and most significant travel trade events in the country. Organized by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and supported by the Department of Tourism (DOT), PHITEX puts the Philippines at the forefront of global tourism by strengthening travel and trade opportunities with the international market.
Welcoming the foreign delegates to the event was DOT secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, together with TPB officer-in-charge Arnold Gonzales. Lending them a hand were DOT spokesperson Benito Bengzon Jr.; DOT regional director for CAR Venus Tan; DOT assistant secretary Verna Buensuceso; Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) assistant secretary Leo Herrera-Lim; Department of Transportation assistant secretary Mark Steven Pastor; and Pacific Asia Travel Association – Philippine chapter secretary general Dakila Gonzales.
Department of Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat
Romulo-Puyat said, “PHITEX is the biggest government-hosted trade event in the country. I am sure each of our prospective buyers will love every moment of their stay here in the country especially when they get to experience Filipino hospitality.”
“Our valuable guests are in for a great experience to discovery why it is more fun in the Philippines and why they should include the country in their respective markets’ tour packages,” said Gonzales.
Aside from the business-to-business sessions, the international buyers were also entertained with amazing cultural performances by the Sindaw Philippines Performing Arts Guild and Princess Rivera Virtudazo, and were treated to Filipino cuisine prepared by renowned chefs.
Environmentalist Gina Lopez
TPB further impressed the foreign delegates with special tours in Laguna, Tagaytay, Iloilo, Bacolod, Bicol, Ilocos, Dumaguete, Siquijor, Palawan, and Davao.
Through PHITEX, the Philippines takes the spotlight as one of the best destinations in Asia not only for travel and leisure but also for trade, history and culture, lifestyle, entertainment and business opportunities.