Philippines turns to India for tourism boost

The Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) headed to India this month to undertake a four-city tourism roadshow.

A delegation from the Southeast Asia country, which included hotels and resorts, spas, attractions and tour operators, travelled to Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai from 8-11 August 2016 to meet with the local travel trade. In total, they engaged with approximately 400 Indian travel agents in a series of face-to-face buyer-seller meetings.

The Filipino delegation was led by DOT director, Verna C. Buensuceso, who heads up the market development group, and Raymund Glen A. Agustin, chief tourism operations officer for Russia, India & the Middle East, who gave delegates an overview of the tourism industry in the archipelago.

Philippines tourism suppliers meet an Indian agent during the roadshow
Philippines tourism suppliers meet an Indian agent during the roadshow

India is a growing market for the Philippines; last year 74,800 Indians visited the country, up 22.4% year-on-year. But this is expected to rise to 100,000 by 2017.

“Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai are the important feeder markets and hence we are looking forward to strengthening our relations with local travel partners from these cities,” Ms Buensuceso explained.

“Overall, the Philippines is looking forward to welcome 100,000 Indian tourists by 2017. VPA (Visit Philippines Again) 2016 campaign aims to drive excitement among travellers so that they revisit the country in 2016 for more fun and adventure and to garner fabulous memories to cherish,” she added.

Over the last couple of years, the DOT has been promoting the Philippines not only as a leisure destination, but also as a venue for weddings, MICE, small group travel and luxury holidays. Destinations like Manila, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan and Davao are among those being “aggressively promoted” according to the DOT.

The latest Indian roadshow follows a trip to Pune and Ahmedabad in February 2016.

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