THE Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT 7) is inviting tourism stakeholders in the region to participate in this year’s Philippines Digital Travel Fair.
Staged by Unique Event and Exhibition and in partnership with the Tourism Promotions Board Philippines (TPB), this digital platform is designed to promote tourism in the country and attract travelers from Asia, particularly from Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, to visit the Philippines.
Set to happen between August and December 2023, the online travel fair will feature various tourism-related businesses in the country, including hotels, resorts, travel agencies, tour operators and airlines. Participants will be able to showcase their products and services on the digital fair platform by offering special deals and discounts to potential customers.
In a press conference, Thursday, April 27, DOT 7 senior tourism operations officer Riza Marie Macaibay said joining online travel fairs is a lot more cost-effective than joining physical travel shows abroad.
She said this is ideal for tourism businesses that are on a tight budget and are gradually recovering from Covid-19 pandemic losses but are keen on marketing their products and services abroad.
Macaibay said joining DOT’s pavilion for an international travel fair, for instance, would require a company to pay a participation fee. Each company also handles its own expenses on airfares, accommodation and meals. Aside from the physical participation itself, they also do sales calls.
“I can’t say how much a company spends for physical participation but if you’re going to do the digital participation, you only need a manpower to man your booth, attend virtual meetings and do that while you are in the office. So, I think it’s going to be cheaper than participating in a physical aspect,” she said.
Singapore-based Unique Event and Exhibition said it is offering the “most affordable solution to maximize market exposure at a fraction of the cost compared to the physical fair.”
Its booth rental package starts from SGD 400 (around P16,600) up to SGD 1,800 (P75,000).
The travel fair will go live in three countries for seven days each 24/7 on these schedules—Malaysia on Aug. 1 to 7; Singapore on Oct. 15 to 21; and Hong Kong on Dec. 2 to 8, 2023.
The organizer will be spending RM 300,000 (P3.7 million) to market the travel fair in Malaysia. SGD 100,000 (P4.17 million) is the marketing budget for Singapore and HKD 500,000 (P3.5 million) for Hong Kong. Collectively, it wants to hit six million targeted ad impressions and 90,000 visitors with a target audience like tourists, food lovers, family travelers, honeymooners, adventurers, real estate investors, business travelers, education and health care seekers.
The online travel fair hopes to attract the 81 provinces in the country and all tourism players in various fields from experience to travel and tours, lifestyle and essentials.
Based on its survey, the 18 popular destinations for Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong markets are Manila, Davao, Bohol (Chocolate Hills), Leyte (World War 2 History Site), Laguna (Mt. Makiling), Cebu, Kalibo (Ati-Atihan Festival), Palawan (Puerto Princesa), Clark Free Port (Aqua Planet), Siargao Island (surfing), Camayan Beach (Ocean Adventure), Baguio (Ati-Atihan Festival), Quezon City, Iloilo (Historical), Ilocos Sur (Spanish era), Silay (Heritage City) and Tagaytay (Taal Volcano).
Felix Ong of Unique Event and Exhibition said the event wants to help promote the Philippines abroad and help the country return to its pre-pandemic arrivals and capture not only the quantity but also the quality of travelers to the Philippines.
Prior to the pandemic in 2019, the Philippines welcomed 8.3 million foreign arrivals largely from Korea, China, USA, Japan and Taiwan. Last year, the country ended with 2.65 million foreign arrivals, translating to P208.96 billion in tourism revenues.
Foong Cheng Hon, chief operating officer of Unique Event and Exhibition, in a statement said, “the digital platform will provide a unique opportunity for tourism-related businesses in the Philippines to reach a wider audience and generate new leads and sales.”
Maria Margarita Montemayor Nograles, chief operating officer of the TPB, described The Philippines Digital Travel Fair as “a timely initiative that aims to provide our tourism stakeholders an additional platform to market and promote their products and services to a wider audience of these targeted markets, helping in revitalizing the Philippine tourism industry.”
Besides Cebu, the Philippines Digital Travel Fair already conducted a roadshow in Manila last Monday, April 24.