The Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) hybrid edition opened at the Bellevue Resort in Panglao Island. DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, TPB COO Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones and Bohol Governor Arthur Yap with DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito Bengzon Jr. and DOT Assistant Secretary for Product and Market Development Verna Buensuceso graced the opening.

The Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) held last month in Panglao Island has secured an on-site generated revenue of P42.1 million despite the challenges posed by the pandemic on MICE (meeting, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) sector, according to the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines. 

PHITEX 2020 which was held on September 22 to 24 was the first hybrid major travel event organized by TPB.

According to TPB, PHITEX 2020’s virtual platform gathered 122 international buyers from 34 countries, with 345 seller delegates from 161 companies in various tourism industry subsectors. The platform recorded 84,946 engagements, including 9,155 business to business (B2B) sessions.

As of October 19, 3,956 contacts were established, averaging 28 contacts per seller, and 1,205 leads were generated, with a 70-percent success rate that is even higher than the lead generation success rate of 67 percent in the last PHITEX. The 76 bookings secured on-site generated a total projected revenue valued at over P42.1 million.

“We pivoted this year’s PHITEX to convey the message that the Philippine tourism industry always means business, be it in usual or unusual times. This year’s hybrid set-up was made in consideration of the tourism sector’s patriotic duty to initiate efforts towards recovery, as well as to prove that travel and business events are possible in the new normal scenario,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

PHITEX 2020 was participated in by 16 leading tourism industry players and lawmakers, who featured in discussions on strategies and innovations projected to shape the sector in the post-COVID world. In between appointments and sessions, “Philippines 360” games and quizzes on Philippine arts and culture were available on demand. The platform also curated a virtual tour of Manila, and provided links to Philippine tourism videos.

Bohol delegates had the opportunity to benchmark with properties, and experience Bohol’s new normal tourism products recalibrated under the leadership of Governor Arthur Yap.

“PHITEX indeed fulfilled what it set out to prove that as long as health and safety protocols are followed, tourism can go on in the new normal, giving memorable experiences for tourists, jobs to tourism workers and allied industries, and a much-needed boost to the economy,” Secretary Puyat said.

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