The 2021 Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) has raked in over PHP69 million in bookings, marking the hybrid event’s success despite the restrictions posed by the pandemic.
Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Chief Operating Officer Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones on Wednesday said 122 buyers from 32 countries around the world had at least 1,258 engagements with 166 sellers from the country during the event’s business-to-business session, translating to more than PHP69 million in revenue.
The 2021 PHITEX was the second time the travel event was held both virtually and onsite, this time at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone with the theme “Beyond Business: Co-creating Safe, Smart, and Sustainable Tourism”.
Apart from the travel trade activities, PHITEX 2021 offers curated post-tours in bubble arrangements to onsite participants showcasing the best of Central Luzon’s tourism destinations such as the Batalan River, Grande Island, Pamulaklakin, El Kabayo and Apaliin, among others.
Before the main event, an educational webinar “PHITEX Educational Program (PEP) Talk” was also held featuring industry experts and topics ranging from digital media to tourism in the new normal to capacitate PHITEX delegates, tourism students and TPB members.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on September 20 said PHITEX 2021’s theme was aligned with the pandemic’s profound effects on the country’s tourism landscape.
“[O]ur considerations have been altered by the adverse impact of the pandemic to our industry. In a way, there is a positive shift in perspective, appreciating that while we do business for the purpose of profit, we are equally mindful of the need to put importance on the health and safety of our traveling guests, and the sustainability of our destinations and socio-cultural heritage,” she said.
Subic Bay Freeport Zone became this year’s choice for PHITEX 2021 after meeting the Department of Tourism’s requirements for holding meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) events in wide-open spaces.
Coordination was made possible with the help of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority as the Government Owned & Controlled Corporation (GOCC) managing the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
PHITEX 2021, which kicked off on September 20 and will end on September 23, is being held in strict compliance with new normal safety and health protocols and in adherence to the guidelines set by Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force.