The continuous staging of travel fairs since borders reopened proves that the tourism sector is on its way to recovery, the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) said Friday.
In July, the PTAA successfully capped the 2022 Travel Tour Expo (TTE) and International Travel Trade Expo (iTTE), with foot traffic reaching 30,000 to 45,000 in three days.
PTAA president Michelle Taylan, during the launch of the 2023 TTE and iTTE in Pasay, said the group intends to double this figure, along with the number of exhibitors.
Next year, about 400 exhibitors are expected to run more than 1,000 booths, which would include tour agencies and airlines offering various packages at a discounted rate.
Apart from local tour packages, travel offers to destinations in Asia and even as far as Africa will also be sold at the expo.
“We want to contribute and be part of the full recovery effort of the travel industry and we want to use our Travel Tour Expo as the main vehicle in promoting tourism in the country,” Taylan said.
The 2023 travel expo is set to be held at the SMX Convention Center on February 3 to 5 next year.
Taylan said the organization is bullish on the sector’s recovery, citing the strong air travel demand in the region.
“Based on our booking experiences even in (Southeast Asia), that is actually their problem now because they have limited airline this time and a lot of foreign tourists are arriving. Same thing here in the Philippines since the borders were reopened,” she said.
The PTAA only projected a million inbound tourists for 2022, but the latest figures from the Department of Tourism already recorded 1.3 million foreigners before the year ends.
“I can say that we are now getting back to what we used to do. And we are at the peak of recovery. Especially now, we are in need also of tourism front-liners, we are lacking tourism front-liners, so that means that the jobs in the tourism industry are also coming back,” Taylan said.
“Definitely, we are on our way to recovery,” 2023 TTE co-chair Patria Chiong said.