The 2nd edition of the Travel Business Show, an exclusive MICE event, was held from December 2 –3, 2017, at the Le Meridien Gurgaon. The show was inaugurated by Ma. Teresita C. Daza, Ambassador of Philippines to India, who was also the Chief Guest of the evening.
Tourism and MICE continues to be a great contributor to the economy of nations, Daza said. “In 2016, the Philippines economy grew by 6.8 per cent, faster than 5.9 per cent expansion in 2015. In the third quarter of 2017, it grew by 6.9 per cent. Travel and tourism are important contributing factors for the economy. The sector contributed about 8.6 per cent to the country’s GDP in 2016. The top source markets for the Philippines from Asia include China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Currently, India ranks as the 12th largest source market for the Philippines. Many Indians visit Manila, Cebu, Palawan, Angeles and Boracay,” she informed.
Giving an insight in the popularity of the Philippines as a destination for Indians, she added, “In 2016, the record of Indian arrivals in the Philippines was 90,000, which is an average of about 246 Indian passengers per day. This number of Indian arrivals is very encouraging, despite visa requirements for Indians travelling to the Philippines.”
Giving a synopsis of mega MICE events in the Philippines, she said, “Aside from leisure travel, the Philippines has also been witnessing an immense contribution of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) segment into the growth of the Philippines tourism industry. The Philippines successfully conducted the ‘Miss Universe Contest’ earlier this year. More importantly in November, the Philippines hosted the 31st ASEAN Summit and related conferences where 21 leaders including Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, came to Manila. During the whole swing of these events, delegates from ASEAN and its partners were shuffled to various destinations in world class infrastructure, while being pampered with Filipino hospitality.”
On the visa policy she informed, “To provide better visa services to the Indian travellers, the Philippines has already instituted a 14-day free visa for Indian nationals, who are holders of visas for USA, Japan, Australia, Canada, Schengen, Singapore and the UK, from all international airports and seaports of the country.”
Mulling prospects to enhance connectivity between the destinations, she added, “Further, the Philippines Airlines is also assessing the possibility of establishing direct flights to India. We are hoping this plan will soon push through so that we can provide huge tourism and economic benefits for both the Philippines and India.”