The Department of Tourism (DOT) successfully spearheaded the recently concluded Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) World Tourism Congress and Travel Fair 2009, held at the Tokyo Big Sight from September 17 to 20, 2009.
One of the largest international travel fairs in Asia, and now on its 6th year, the JATA World Tourism Congress and Travel Fair has again surpassed the 100th mark having attracted 110, 784 visitors during the Travel Fair, from 151 countries and regions this year. The World Tourism Congress was also successfully attended by 1, 016 delegates from 90 countries and regions.
Department of Tourism Secretary Ace Durano underscored the significance of DOT’s participation in the JATA event to tourism growth in the country. “The JATA event, being one of the largest in our region, is an excellent opportunity to reach out to thousands of visitors, and encourage them to experience the Philippines for themselves,” he said.
The JATA-WTF is an annual event comprised of two complementary, major events—the JATA World Tourism Congress and the JATA World Travel Fair.
The JATA World Tourism Congress is a marketing conference aimed at intellectual collaboration over a theme among tourism professionals. This year, the conference’s theme was “Asia Tourism, Now”, where senior executives from the Tourism administration in Japan, Singapore, and Thailand shared their thoughts about relevant strategies and issues on emerging tourism trends in Asia.
During this first major event, DOT Philippines, for the fifth straight year, hosted the 15-minute coffee break where delegates stayed the whole time enjoying every sip of Philippine coffee, courtesy of Travel Café Philippines. Local delicacies were delightfully offered with the coffee.
“The rich taste of our Philippine coffee entices the event participants to all the more discover unique flavors that could only be found in the Philippines. It translates great taste to great destinations, making it a perfect promotional vehicle for our country,” said Durano.
A 5-minute promotional video on popular Philippine tourist spots was also presented during the break, along with the distribution of Kokoro Somaru (Color my heart) eco bags—promoting Philippines as a premium spa and as a health and wellness destination.
The JATA World Travel Fair, the second major event, is a trade fair that allows exhibitors to build business networks with the Japan Travel Trade, and features a consumer travel show where destinations and suppliers may showcase their travel offerings and directly invite Japanese travellers.
During the three-day JATA World Travel Fair, DOT set up a booth participated in by exhibitors from the private sector as well, including trade professionals and tourism students.
Carrying the theme Kokoro Somaru (Color my heart), the Philippine booth was swarmed by visitors as a result of a “stamp rally” activity and Fruit Meister Seminar conducted by DOT Tokyo. These activities allowed for a maximum, positive interaction between trade visitors and delegates.
“Through the Travel Fair, we were able to bring excitement and enthusiasm to visitors—the same moods that we wish to inspire when they think about Philippine travel,” said Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque, Jr.
“Each year, we always look forward to sharing our country’s rich cultural heritage and establishing mutually beneficial ties with the Japanese locals,” Head for DOT Team Japan Benito Bengzon, Jr. added.