The Philippines has recently welcomed top travel agents from France, all set to sell promotional packages to the country for year 2010. With travel prospects looking brighter ahead, the Department of Tourism (DOT) expands its marketing efforts through a series of seminars and experiential tours during their visit.
Top wholesalers from France, namely Jettours, Vacances Transat, Visiteur en Asie and Asia Voyages visited the country’s prime destinations such as Manila, Ilocos, Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan, for intensive seminars and workshops about the country and a business exchange with the Philippines’ leading industry players.
Spearheaded by the DOT, the familiarization tour featured activities such as a wellness orientation, folk dance workshop, and demonstrations on Philippine bar mixes and cuisine. More importantly, a specialized business –to– business matching session was held, where renowned tourism industry players in the country met with French tour operators and agents.
Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said, “Being a year-round destination, the Philippines is a country to be enjoyed by most French tourists. This niche segment of adventurers is still among our constantly growing market.”
“We aim to continue nurturing our strong tourism links with them to foster more vibrant business relations in the coming years. We are certain that the efforts we have invested will bear much fruit,” he added.
Eduardo Jarque, Jr., Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions noted, “We invite French tourists top come here to experience the warmth and culture that is distinctly Filipino, with our tourism facilities and services ready to welcome discriminating travelers.”
During the product presentation, Venus Tan, Tourism Attaché for DOT – Frankfurt, shared, “The Philippines is a destination to be experienced, which is why we have come up with a series of workshops for tour operators and agents. Getting to know the Philippines better will definitely let them promote the country to their market more effectively.”
The familiarization tours have been part of DOT’s integral marketing strategy, to focus on particular market segments. This move has been proven effective with the increase in tourist arrivals and investments from different regions such as Europe, Asia Pacific, China, Korea, Japan, India, and North America.
“Increased bookings and confirmations have been evident with the enhancement of our familiarization trips and seminars. The local industry players also benefit from strengthened linkages with Europe’s largest and most influential tourism players through these initiatives,” noted Verna Buensuceso, Head for DOT Team Europe.
Marketing Representative Andrew Gonzales noted, “We envision wholesalers to have individual programs featuring the Philippines, catered for the specific preferences of tourists. Diversity is a key strength of the country, with destinations that offer nature, adventure, and culture.”