The Philippines welcomed 2.65 million international visitor arrivals in 2022, translating to P208.96 billion or US$3.68 billion in tourism revenue. The Department of Tourism (DOT) is looking to attract more visitors this year.
Returning to the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) in Berlin, Germany, the DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) led the country’s biggest delegation to date with 26 co-exhibitors from the public and private sectors consisting of 40 delegates. Held from March 7 to 9, ITB Berlin is the world’s biggest travel trade show with 160,000 visitors expected to attend.
The Philippines’ participation is part of the country’s global tourism campaign through partnerships with tour operators, online travel agencies and platforms, travel websites and communities, journalists and influencers, among others.
The Philippines booth at ITB Berlin features the country’s rich culture and sustainable tourism through the artistic works of T’nalak weaver Myrna Pula of South Cotabato, and Yakan weaver and entrepreneur Angelita Pichay Ilul of Zamboanga. Visitors also got a taste of Philippine coffee and chocolates through Kape de Filipina, a brand offering products grown by farmers and communities in the Philippines.
Negros Occidental bags Green Story Destination Awards
Two Negros Occidental cities were recognized at the Green Destinations Awards for their inspirational sustainable tourism practices and efforts.
Sagay City bagged the People’s Choice Award and ranked second under Nature and Scenery Category with its entry, “Mangrove Forest Protection through Community-based EcoTourism Project.” The city’s Suyac Island Mangrove Ecopark, located inside the Sagay Marine Reserve, is the first fully community-based ecotourism site in Sagay that offers an unparalleled experience and allows travelers to connect with nature and local culture.
Another pride of Negros Occidental, Bago City’s entry “Reviving the Majestic Diversity of Bago Watershed” was awarded 3rd place under the Environment and Climate Category. Bago City’s Watershed plays a vital role in steering the wheel of the economy of Negros Occidental by supplying water to about 19,000 hectares of agricultural areas. To protect, conserve and rehabilitate the watershed, the city government mobilized its resources and strengthened community involvement through Integrated Ecosystem Management Approach (Ridge to Reef Environmental Management).
The prestigious Green Destinations Story Awards at the ITB Berlin showcases the most inspirational initiatives for sustainable tourism development from stories submitted to the yearly Green Destinations Top 100 Stories competition.
“ITB Berlin holds great opportunities for the Philippines to showcase to the world its award-winning destinations such as Boracay, Cebu, Siargao, and Palawan, and also to include Banaue, Intramuros, and South Cotabato, among others,” said Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco.
“What we have showcased in this year’s ITB is just a glimpse of our country’s rich culture and wide range of tourism offerings, curated to bring more ideas and inspiration to promote the Philippines as a meaningful and purposeful destination. We are more than ready to welcome you to our home. Come visit to witness, firsthand, the Philippine Experience,” said TPB COO Nograles.
With the long-term goal of securing increased arrivals, receipts, and investments for the country, TPB annually participates in ITB Berlin, which provides Philippine tourism an opportunity to network with relevant decision-makers from new and existing tourism markets across Europe, America, and Asia.