“Philippines in full force in Arabian Travel Market 2014″

440A 30-man Philippine delegation composed of representatives of hotels, resorts, tour operators, an airline and government officials headed by Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr. is all geared up to meet with buyers and consumers at this year’s Arabian Travel Market on May 5-10, 2014 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibit Center.

The Department of Tourism has identified the Middle East as a priority opportunity market. The region has registered a growth rate of 20.3% year on year from 57,275 in 2012 to 68,916 in 2013. Key markets for the Philippines from this region are the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which registered 38,969 arrivals and the United Arab Emirates with 15,155.

To strengthen its presence in the region and capitalize on the additional direct flights of Philippine carriers linking Middle East to the country, the DOT has again secured a 100 sq. m. Philippine Pavilion designed using the “It’s more fun in the Philippines” theme.

“We see the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) as an effective platform in promoting the Philippines in the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),” said Mr. Bengzon. The WTO has declared the Middle East as the smallest yet the fastest growing outbound market in the world today.

The ATM is the leading international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals from across the globe. The show gathers together about 17,000 attendees. In 2013, 111 new exhibitors attended ATM from 91 participating countries. Re-visits yielded 19% increase year on year from 8,231 in 2012 to 9,605 in 2013.

Recognizing the importance of business to business meetings in the market, Philippine hotel and resort executives, airline representatives and tour operators are coming to the exhibition in full force. Mr. Bengzon added, “they represent the best quality of products and services from the destinations visited by tourists from the UAE in particular and the GCC in general.

Boracay, Cebu, Davao and Palawan are the favorite destinations among the Middle East tourists coming to the Philippines.”

The Philippine delegation is optimistic that its participation in ATM will again be productive and succeed in positioning the country as a new, exciting and fun destination in Asia.

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