Bright tourism prospects spawn international travel festival

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rising from a world economic recession in 2008, the global tourism industry is now gaining momentum for sustained growth, and so is the Philippines, powered by vacationing overseas Filipinos worldwide (OFWs) and an increasing number of visitors from East Asian countries.

          Such is the phenomenon behind the emergence of the forthcoming International Travel Festival (ITF) 2013, now covering, not only what used to be a solely inbound promotional event dubbed “Travel Philippines Show”, but also outbound travel named “Euro-AmeriAsian Travel, Trade & Cultural Expo.”

          The inclusion of both inbound and outbound travel makes the ITF a boon to a genuine two-way tourism traffic, enabling it to contribute to the growth of the global tourism industry now reportedly worth an estimated $1.15 trillion from a yearly revenue rise of 1.5 percent over the past five years.

          ITF organizer Exlink Events says the Philippines can also benefit from the foreign trips of its citizens through new product ideas, business concepts, knowledge and discoveries, innovations and technologies, and modern insights that they will bring with them on their return home.
          “At the same time, the foreign-based international airlines that fly Filipinos to overseas destinations will also have to bring in tourists from abroad in their return flights,” said Exlink chief executive officer Mitch Ballesteros.
“Thus, the net effect of brisk inbound and outbound travel is a thriving tourism industry that gets a boost from both ends,” Ballesteros explained, citing tourism’s total contribution of $6.3 trillion and 255 million jobs to the global economy in 2011 alone.\

          “This positive development makes the International Travel Festival very timely, effectively promoting the Philippines as a major player in global tourism, not just as a tourist destination, but also as a preferred source of worldclass tourists,” Ballesteros pointed out.

To participate in the International Travel Festival are exhibitors from both inbound and outbound sectors involving airlines, hotels and resorts, travel agencies, tour operators, MICE (meetings, incentive travel, conventions and events) organizers, shopping malls and retail chains, transfers and transport firms, cruise ships and domestic passenger vessels, telecommunication companies, destination owners and managers, banks and financial institutions, and the academe and various service providers, among many others.

          To be showcased at the expo are both local and foreign destinations and travel establishments, making it a truly international event that can help the Department of Tourism attain its target 10 million foreign and 56 million domestic tourists by 2016.

The International Travel Festival is slated at the SMX Convention Center on December 11 to 12.

More information about the event can be obtained from EX-LINK Management and Marketing Services Corporation (tel: 632 6433887; fax: 632 6401280; email:; or visit

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