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DOT, TPB bring back on-site PHITEX 2023 in Cebu
DOT, TPB bring back on-site PHITEX 2023 in Cebu
Lifestyle
DOT, TPB bring back on-site PHITEX 2023 in Cebu
by Karen Ow-Yong20 September 2023
Photo Courtesy: TPB / DOT

The Department of Tourism (DOT) through its marketing promotions arm, Tourism Promotions Board (TBP) Philippines, formally opened Wednesday the 2023 edition of the Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX), considered as the biggest government-organized travel trade event in the country.

According to the DOT, this year’s PHITEX marks the resumption of the on-site staging of the event after virtual and hybrid editions in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time, PHITEX returns to Cebu, after 16 years when it last hosted the event in 2007.

This year’s theme is “Tourism Sustainability in the Era of Internet of Things” where hundreds of buyer delegates and local seller companies are expected to join a series of activities under the hallmark event components of the PHITEX, including the Philippine Educational Program (PEP) Talk, Travel Exchange (TRAVEX) business-to-business (B2B) networking, as well as pre- and post-event tours for buyers.

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In her opening remarks, TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Margarita Nograles, noted the timeliness and relevance of the theme.

“The Internet of Things, or IoT, has been a presence for years, and its reach has kept on expanding, altering our industry, and redefining the tourist experience with a mere click of a button. Let's not overlook the ascendant force of AI or Artificial Intelligence, which is rapidly also shaping our sector,” she said.

The PHITEXT kickstarted with a whole-day PEP talk held last September 19 at the Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark and was attended by approximately 500 delegates, featuring discussions on relevant and vital topics to the travel and hospitality industry, including market updates, tourism trends and travel innovations.

According to the DOT, these served as a prelude to the whole-day B2B meetings scheduled from September 20 to 21 at the Fili Hotel at Nustar Cebu.

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Post-event tours for foreign buyers happening from September 22 onwards will be highlighted thematically per each module, according to the DOT.

“PHITEX will offer a wide array of activities that target every interest of the buyers for their respective markets, such as Nature and Adventure tour in Davao, Bukidnon, and Cagayan de Oro; Dine and Drive in Pampanga and La Union; Triple C (Calm, Culture, Culinary) in Romblon and Boracay; Wellness and Fun Dive in Coron, Palawan; Culinary, Culture, and Heritage in Ilocos Region; Triple F (Faith, Farm, Fun) in Cebu and Negros Oriental; and Arts and History in the City of the Old and the New featuring Manila and Rizal,” DOT added.

Close to 100 buyers from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom, and the United States of America (USA) joined this year's travel trade event.

In her remarks at the event, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco expressed her optimism on the PHITEX 2023 and congratulated the TPB Philippines, tourism stakeholders, sellers, and buyers, for the National Tourism Initiative of the Year Award bestowed upon the TPB for the successful 2022 PHITEX at The Gov Media Awards 2023 presented by Gov Media Magazine in Singapore earlier this year.

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"I am hopeful that the successes of PHITEX 2022 can be mirrored, if not exceeded by all of the exchanges and convergences and collaborations that you will have amongst each other here in Cebu," she said.

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