The Tourism Promotions Board is rolling a strategy that involves focusing less on trade shows and more on business missions where Philippine-based sellers can directly engage with foreign buyers without the distraction of other foreign sellers.
“What’s important with business missions is that we’re the star of our own show. We don’t have to compete with 200 other countries in the same trade fair. More and more, the thinking at the TPB is that do less of the trade shows, do more of the business missions,” said Domingo Enerio III, COO of the TPB, a speaker during the September 18 assembly of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association, Inc. at Manila Hotel.
The marketing agency has finished doing business missions in key ASEAN and East Asian markets, namely Hong Kong, Macau, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Japan. Enerio said that Kaesong, Taichung, and Taipei in Taiwan will be next on October 15 to 17, while Busan and Seoul in South Korea are slated on November 11 to 14.
Despite this announcement, Enerio said the TPB will still maximize promotional opportunities during trade fairs by increasing its advertising leverage. For the World Travel Mart in London in November, for instance, the COO revealed plans to advertise in select areas such as the fair ground and at public utility vehicles.
New website by October
It will launch an online portal www.tpb.gov.ph on October 1 specifically developed for the travel trade and hotels.
Players can access data and project details relevant to marketing once they are enrolled in the site. The only requirement by the website for registration is DOT accreditation.
The move is part of the agency’s strategy to increase the leverage of properties and travel players who are being regulated by the DOT. Although accreditation system for hotels is gradually being implemented, the department is still legally limited to force players into accreditation since local government units have the upper hand in granting business permits according to the Local Government Code of 1992.