In this year´s participation to the International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) held on 18 to 21 January 2023 in IFEMA Madrid, the Philippine pavilion featured Manila and Cebu as the main gateways to the country, and Palawan, Siargao, Bohol, the Cordilleras, Bicol and Calabarzon as major tourism destinations for 2023.
The Philippine delegation was headed by Department of Tourism´s Office of Product and Market Development Chief Glen Agustin, and were joined by members of the Philippine House of Representatives Committee on Tourism, namely, Congressman Yeygeny Vincente Emano, and Congressman Marquez Go, Atty. Glaiza Sarmiento from the Legislative Liaison Unit of the DOT, and officers of the Philippine Embassy in Madrid.
To attract FITUR attendees to the Philippine pavilion, La Lyra Filipina lead singer and World of Performing Arts Champion Princess Virtudazo and Flairtending Champion Dennis Barela performed during the course of the event, while partner airlines raffled off plane tickets to the Philippines. Department of Tourism´s Office of Product and Market Development Chief Glen Agustin, ably assisted by the Tourism Office in London, held business meetings with companies and individuals to promote Philippine tourism sites to Spanish and other foreign nationals.
The Philippines is one of the pioneer country-participants of FITUR, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic in the past years, had continued its participation in the Fair with the intention to remain a top-of-mind destination for Spanish tourists. With the Philippines relaxing its COVID restrictions to tourists, the Philippines hopes to bring back the number of Spanish tourists to pre-pandemic levels.
A tourism and investment presentation and business networking event held on 17 January was attended by Spanish and Filipino-owned travel agencies and media partners to complement the Philippines´ participation to FITUR. On 20 January, Filipino Community leaders were invited to the Embassy for the launch of the Bisita, Be My Guest (BBMG) campaign of DOT.