President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. Affirms Commitment to Boost Tourism at the 34th Philippine Travel Mart
In a resounding testament to the pivotal role of tourism in the country’s economic growth, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. declared on Friday, September 1, that comprehensive policies and programs are underway to upgrade critical tourism infrastructure and build capacity for the workforce and entrepreneurs. His remarks, conveyed by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco during the opening ceremony of the 34th Philippine Travel Mart (PTM), underscore the government’s commitment to harnessing the strength and competitive advantages of the tourism sector.
President Marcos, Jr. emphasized that the administration’s whole-of-nation efforts are strategically aligned to leverage tourism’s strengths, particularly in the current era of “revenge travel.” Secretary Frasco, quoting the President, assured the industry of fervent support, emphasizing the creation of a wholesome climate and stable foundation through a more business-friendly environment, improved security, and the reinforcement of the rule of law.
Recognizing the vital contributions of small business players and local government units, President Marcos, Jr. acknowledged their role in providing livelihood opportunities to over five million Filipinos today. “Our Local Government Units, the private sector, especially our Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, are indispensable to the vibrant performance of our tourism industry,” he stated.
Applauding the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Philippine Tour Operators Association, Inc. (PHILTOA) as key players and staunch partners, President Marcos, Jr. lauded their efforts in driving the nation-building journey.
In her presentation, Secretary Frasco celebrated the post-pandemic successes of the country’s tourism industry, citing a total of 3.64 million international arrivals since January, already reaching 75.92 percent of the annual target of 4.8 million. “We have built momentum for the tourism industry of the Philippines, and this Philippine Travel Mart is another driving force to push the tourism industry closer to its pre-pandemic levels and further to even exceed it,” she added.
Highlighting the President’s directive to prioritize emerging destinations, Secretary Frasco expressed the DOT’s commitment to showcasing unique travel packages across the country during the three-day PTM event. This initiative aims to provide diverse and affordable options for travel enthusiasts.
One-stop-shop Travel Fair: PTM 2023
The 34th Philippine Travel Mart, held from September 1 to 3 at Halls 1 to 4 of the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia Complex, serves as a one-stop-shop travel trade show. Over 200 exhibitors representing various regions from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao offer discounted vacation packages and tour promos, bringing together the accommodation sector, travel agencies, tour operators, theme parks, airlines, and other tourism-related establishments.
PHILTOA President Fe Abling-Yu encouraged the public to embrace the freedom to travel and explore, expressing the need to make new discoveries and appreciate the treasures the beautiful nation has to offer.
Diversity on Display: Unveiling the Rich Tapestry of Philippine Tourism
In its 34th edition, PTM displays a diverse array of tourism products, featuring dedicated zones for M.I.C.E., outdoor tourism activities, and niche and major tourism portfolios. Exhibitors showcase offerings in sun and beach, cruise, marine sports, culture and heritage, farm tourism, health and wellness, and culinary packages, among others.
Secretary Frasco, in a separate interview, stated, “The Philippine Travel Mart reflects all the reasons to love the Philippines. It shows how much our tourism stakeholders have worked hard to ensure that Philippine tourism rises back stronger than ever.”
The PTM, initiated by the DOT in 1989 and embraced by PHILTOA in 1994, has become a flagship event, reflecting the nation’s commitment to showcase the best of the Philippines.