MANILA, 27 September 2021: An hybrid version of the 2021 Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) was successfully hosted last week, providing a platform for local sellers to reach out to overseas travel buyers.
Tourism Promotions Board chief operating officer Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones told the Philippines News Agency the event attracted 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 held in a virtual space.
It was the second time that the B2B event was hosted virtually and onsite, at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone venue with the theme “Beyond Business: Co-creating Safe, Smart, and Sustainable Tourism”.
She claimed transactions of around PHP69 million in revenue were finalised at the hybrid show that mixed and matched in-person and virtual meetings.
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 Programme (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 said PHITEX 2021’s theme was aligned with the pandemic’s profound effects on the country’s tourism landscape.
“In a way, there is a positive shift in perspective, appreciating that while we do business for profit, we are equally mindful of the need to put importance on the health and safety of our travelling 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 ran from 20 to 23 September in strict compliance with new normal safety and health protocols set by Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force.