Close to a hundred travel and tour buyers representing 18 countries around the world joined The Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX 2023) hosted by Cebu.

Organized by Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, the three-day event officially opened Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at the Fili Hotel at Nustar Cebu.

To culminate today, September 21, 2022, PHITEX 2023 turns the spotlight on Cebu as one of the Philippines' hottest tourism destinations.

TPB Chief Operating Officer (COO) Maria Margarita Montemayor Nograles expects that this year's PHITEX will surpass the hybrid edition PHITEX 2022, which generated business-to-business sales transactions of P172.602 million.

This is the first time in 16 years that Cebu was picked to host the prestigious global travel fair. The hosting of Cebu is seen to further boost Cebu's tourism industry, as the buyers will also get to explore Cebu's wide array of tourism destinations.

PHITEX opened on September 19 with the PHITEX Educational Program (PEP) Talk, which features discussions anchored on this year's theme, 'Tourism Sustainability in the Era of IoT,' highlighting the country's digitalization and sustainability efforts to meet global demands.

Graced by Department of Tourism secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco, PHITEX functions as an innovative knowledge-sharing platform.

Through its PEPTalk module, PHITEX provides a valuable educational experience to local stakeholders and academia members in the field of tourism, offering insights into the latest advancements in IoT, data privacy, and circular economies.

'We are standing at the crossroads of a digital revolution, where the Internet of Things or IoT, promises to reshape our world. As we navigate this transformative wave, the tourism industry must stand ready. Our task is not only to embrace this digital evolution but also to champion the harmonious coexistence of tradition and modernization. This delicate balance is an expertise we, as custodians of our vibrant cultural heritage, must skillfully achieve,' said Nograles.

A total 168 Philippine sellers are participating representing 122 companies for business-to-business interactions. TPB collaborated with the DOT and private sector representatives to carefully screen the buyers, ensuring their quality and legitimacy.

In her message, Frasco headlined the Philippines' ability to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic to the tourism industry.

Frasco told international buyers that because of Philippine's charm and the current government leadership's extra attention to tourism industry revival, the country posted a recovery rate of 66.33 percent as of 2022, far way higher than 28 percent tourism recovery rate for the entire Asian region.

PHITEX is an annual tourism-centric marketing event that not only facilitates meetings between qualified international buyers and Philippine sellers through tabletop business appointments.

It also offers participants a chance to experience the beauty of Philippine tourism destinations through pre and post familiarization tours in Manila-Rizal, Cagayan de Oro-Bukidnon-Davao, Coron, Palawan, Boracay-Romblon, Cebu-Dumaguete, Pampanga-La Union, and Ilocos Norte and Sur.

Copyright © 2022 PhilSTAR Daily, Inc Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (