PH to host international tourism conference

WTTC event last year

Department of Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat announced the Philippines will host the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit in March 2022.

The WTTC Global Summit is an annual event that gathers over 800 delegates representing the largest and most prominent international travel and tourism companies from airlines, hotels, resorts, travel agencies, and tour companies.

According to Puyat, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) had approved the holding of the event, which was originally scheduled in October this year but was moved to March next year.

With the country hosting the WTTC, the DOT remains optimistic that it will help in the recovery of the hardest-hit sector as international travel remains limited across the globe.

“Many of our tourism products have been recalibrated to cater to the shifting demands of the new normal. I can assure you that future visitors of the country will still be able to experience the high caliber service and hospitality that Filipinos are renowned for,” she said.

DOT’s marketing arm the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) has prepared initiatives to position the Philippines as hub for meetings, incentive travels, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE)—at least within the Southeast Asian region. Some of the initiatives include the hosting of the 8th edition of the Philippine MICE Conference next month, where MICE professionals will tackle key issues and concerns affecting the industry.

Other initiatives include capacity-building activities for MICE groups in local government units (LGUs), and the formulation of the MICE roadmap to identify Philippine destinations that are ready, willing, and able to host future MICE events, most especially under the new normal.

Vaccination of tourism workers primarily in tourist-magnet destinations will continue, according to Puyat. The department is also pushing to reduce the required quarantine days for future inbound travelers for the total recovery of the sector amid massive revenue and job losses.

DOT is closely studying the tourism reopening models being implemented in neighboring countries, including the Phuket Sandbox model piloted by Thailand authorities in July.

“We are always striking a balance. But of course, without compromising health and safety. For us, we want fewer travel restrictions, but at the end of the day, we have to listen to the doctors,” Puyat explained. “Sustainable tourism development is at the core of everything we do. Our recovery plans are not mere band-aid solutions,” Puyat said.

Raquel P. Gomez
Special Features writer at Philippine Daily Inquirer. She is tasked to write anything under the sun, but certain topics appeal to her personally, like technology, gardening, cooking, food, movies, TV series, heritage and historical areas, and travel. You may email her at rgomez@inquirer.com.ph