President Benigno Simeon Aquino III of the Republic of Philippines today threw open the 35th ASEAN Tourism Forum in Manila. At the opening ceremony in the Philippine International Convention Centre, Aquino declared that success of ASEAN tourism will depend on sustainability. “ASEAN tourism is something we have to build together. We are not competitors but partners in inclusive tourism,” he stated.
India has a strong representation at ATF 2016 with 23 hosted buyers participating in the event. This is especially significant as the Department of Tourism (DOT) Philippines is looking at India and the Middle East as the new target markets for growth and is looking at increasing marketing spend in these markets.
Speaking exclusively to Express TravelWorld on the MICE initiatives, Art P Boncato Jr , assistant secretary, DOT Philippines, said, “MICE is very important for us. We plan to develop Manila, Cebu and Davao as potential international MICE destinations. These destinations are ideal as they have good airports, they are good gateways, and have good roads, existing hotels and excellent meeting facilities so they are ready for international MICE. We also have plans for training a more sophisticated workforce to meet the requirements of the MICE segment.”