The Department of Tourism (DOT) recently hosted the Philippine-Vietnam Travel Exchange 2014 held at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Manila. The trade event is part of the DOT’s relentless efforts to promote premium properties and activities in the Philippines.
Some of the Vietnamese travel agents, event planners, incentive planners, corporate account executives during the photo op session with DOT officials (first row, sixth from right) led by Assistant Secretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr.; Director Corazon Jorda-Apo, and DOT Vietnam Marketing Representative Miriam Melgar after the PHL-Vietnam Travel Exchange at the Peninsula Manila.
A total of 70 travel agents, event planners, incentive planners, corporate account executives catering to high-end and upper middle class and expats from Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Danang met with 46 of the country’s travel and tour operators and local destination management companies for a business-to-business networking. The DOT Marketing Representative for Vietnam Miriam Melgar and her team led the delegation, with the goal to drive sales in time for the Vietnam TET holiday next year and support the Visit the Philippines 2015 campaign. The travel and tour operators from Vietnam also visited El Nido Resorts and Puerto Princesa.
DOT Assistant Secretary for Market Development Benito C. Bengzon, Jr. expressed enthusiasm for the trade event, hoping to capture a greater share of the Vietnamese outbound travel market, now one of the fast emerging markets of the Philippines. “Your visit here today comes at the most perfect time, as the Philippines was recently awarded the Destination of the Year at the 25th Annual TTG Awards—the single most coveted award in the Asia-Pacific travel trade. I am excited for all of you to see what the Conde Nast Traveller considers as the ‘number one island in the world’, Palawan, as part of your itinerary. But the coming year is going to be more exciting here in the Philippines, with our long list of international events, activities and new destinations that await tourists. You have to come back soonest with your friends and families. The Philippines is definitely the place to be next year,” the Assistant Secretary enthused.
According to DOT Director Maria Corazon Jorda-Apo, Head of the Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam Unit of the Market Development Group (MDG), the country received 20,436 Vietnamese tourists, reflecting a 16.68 percent growth over the 2013 figures during the third quarter of this year. The DOT is anticipating this number to rise by yearend, as the governments of the Philippines and Vietnam recently inked an agreement to come up with a three-year Tourism Cooperation Plan, which will specifically focus on the development of the cruise tourism industry. They have also in the pipeline familiarization trips that would cater to the growing interest on tourism between the two countries.
Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr., in a separate interview, reiterates the DOT’s relentless efforts to focus on the Philippines’ emerging source markets like Vietnam. Key cities of Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Danang are now strongly connected to Manila with daily direct flights being serviced by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.
“The additional air seat privileges given to our local carriers to fly to key cities of Vietnam should help bridge our two nations much closer and similarly fuel greater interest between and among our Vietnamese friends and Filipinos to travel more often. Next year is going to be an event more exciting time for the Philippines, as we play host to a number of international events. It is going to be one fun 2015 you should not miss,” Secretary Jimenez said.
The travel trade event was also made possible in partnership with Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific. PAL has daily direct flights between Manila and Ho Chi Minh, while Cebu Pacific has three times a week flights between Hanoi and Manila.