Berlin, 11 March 2014. The Philippines recently completed its successful participation at the 2014 Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) Berlin, which ran from 4-10 March 2014 at the Messe Berlin.
The Philippines expanded its presence at this year’s ITB with a total of 24 tour operators and hotels and resorts. To meet the increased number of business representatives, the Department of Tourism designed a seamlessly integrated Pavilion profiling the main tourism destinations of the country. Special attention this year was given to Bohol province, which has been recovering from the effects of a major earthquake in October 2013. Ambassador Maria Cleofe R. Natividad noted that the Philippine tourism industry continued to be resilient in the face of major calamities that affected the country last year. She noted that the main tourism destinations remained largely unaffected and in areas such as Bohol, infrastructure was being improved and upgraded. The “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign has taken hold with consumers, with visitor arrivals growing by almost 10% to 4.68 million tourists in 2013.
Observing the full slate of business to business meetings at the country pavilion, Ambassador Natividad further stressed that the Philippines was placing a greater emphasis on cultivating the European market, with the Department of Tourism targeting 250,000 tourist arrivals from EU and Russia in 2014. The Ambassador emphasized the key impact of European tourists, who tend to spend more during their stay in the country. For example, Germans had the third highest per capita spending of USD 1,360.34 among all tourist markets.
The Philippine delegation, which included Rep. Rene L. Relampagos, Rep. Dakila Cua, Rep. Oscar Garin, Jr., and PTB CEO Domingo Enerio III, also welcomed Mr. Jürgen Klimke, who is the Chair of the Bundestag (Parliament) Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development and Member of the Bundestag Committee on Tourism, and Mr. Thomas Ossowski, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Federal Foreign Minister.
Approximately 170,000 people visited this year’s fair, which drew 10,147 exhibitors from 189 countries to Berlin. About 110,000 of the visitors were industry professionals, an increase of 4 percent compared to the 2013 edition. Organizers said that deals worth 6.5 billion euros ($9.01 billion) were closed during the travel fair. END