Biggest gov’t-led annual travel trade expo slated on Sept. 22-24

Published September 10, 2020, 10:00 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

No pandemic will put off the annual Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX), biggest government-organized annual travel trade event since 1996, which will take place in the next two weeks.

But, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) said things are going to be “business unusual” for the event, which will now be held virtually.

“Amid the immense challenges for the tourism industry, TPB is leveraging on digital technology as a platform to sustain and explore new opportunities and markets,” said TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones.

“With this e-conference setup, we endeavor to update our tourism market stakeholders from all over the world with the latest Philippine tourism offerings,” she added.

Scheduled on September 22 to 24, the virtual edition of PHITEX will be participated by more than 100 Philippine sellers and 100 foreign buyers.

Panglao, Bohol will be the official venue of the sellers for the virtual networking with international buyers where strict safety and health protocols will be implemented.

This initiative will provide stakeholders new approaches to boost tourism, TPB said.

To recall, Panglao is now being highly considered by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as one of the first
islands to reopen to international tourists once travel restrictions are eased given the province’s pool of dedicated leaders, low number of COVID–19 cases, beautiful beaches, resorts, dive spots, and other tourism attractions, and a new international airport.

Meanwhile, the highlight of this year’s PHITEX is the Travel Exchange (TRAVEX), a series of exclusive business-to-business appointments between Philippine sellers and foreign buyers, happening for the first time in virtual booths.

The online market space is customized to feature each company’s range of products and services in high definition videos, digital product collaterals, and one-on-one chat rooms for more focused and effective networking with prospective buyers.

PHITEX also puts together various avenues of information for tourism stakeholders in the context of the global pandemic.

The event will showcase a webinar series where tourism industry experts will share insights on topics such as effective marketing strategies during crises, embracing the power of technology, green destinations, and principles in developing sustainable tourism.

Interview sessions featuring local and international key tourism stakeholders will emphasize recovery strategies, ensuring tourism business continuity and underscoring the need for greater impact and strength in collaboration.

Roundtable discussions will also pool together leading players in the industry to tackle issues posed by the pandemic and how stakeholders can embrace resilience and innovation.

A specially curated virtual tour of Manila, dubbed as the Philippines’ Capital of Fun is also one of the event highlights, showcasing the city’s unique blend of old world and new culture.

Registration is free of charge. Interested buyers and sellers may register via where qualified participants will receive an access code to the event.

DOT-accredited suppliers of Philippine tourism products and services as well as TPB members are given registration priority.

TPB is an attached agency of the DOT and it organizes PHITEX as part of its mandate to market and promote the Philippines domestically and internationally as a preferred tourism and MICE destination that prides itself with diverse and fun travel experiences.