The recent Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) in Panglao Island, Bohol has generated over P42 million in revenue from on-site bookings, according to the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).
The largest government-organized travel fair was held last Sept. 22 to 24, with the distinction of being the first hybrid major travel trade event to transition amid the pandemic.
This year’s PHITEX virtual platform gathered 122 international buyers from 34 countries, with 345 seller delegates from 161 companies in various tourism industry subsectors. The platform recorded 84,946 engagements, including 9,155 business to business (B2B) sessions.
As of Oct. 19, 3,956 contacts were established, averaging 28 contacts per seller, and 1,205 leads were generated, with a 70 percent success rate that is way higher than the lead generation success rate of 67 percent in the last PHITEX.
TPB said the 76 bookings secured on-site generated a total projected revenue valued at over P42.1 million.
“We pivoted this year’s PHITEX to convey the message that the Philippine tourism industry always means business, be in usual or unusual times,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
“The hybrid set-up was made in consideration of the tourism sector’s patriotic duty to initiate efforts towards recovery, as well as to prove that travel and business events are possible in the new normal scenario,” she noted.
Sixteen leading tourism industry players and lawmakers were featured in discussions on strategies and innovations projected to shape the sector in the post-COVID world. In between appointments and sessions, “Philippines 360” games and quizzes on Philippine arts and culture were available on demand. The platform also curated a virtual tour of Manila, and provided links to Philippine tourism videos.
The delegates in Bohol had the opportunity to benchmark with properties, and experience Bohol’s new normal tourism products re-calibrated under the leadership of Bohol Governor Arthur Yap.
“PHITEX indeed fulfilled what it set out to prove that as long as health and safety protocols are followed, tourism can go on in the new normal, giving memorable experiences for tourists, jobs to tourism workers and allied industries, and a much-needed boost to the economy,” the tourism chief added.