Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas and Mrs. Isabelita T. Salinas with the Philippine delegation in FITUR during the launching of the Visit the Philippines Year 2015
After a two-year hiatus, the Philippines once again participated in the 35th Edition of the Feria Internacional de Turismo (FITUR), which was held from 28 January to 1 February 2015.
FITUR is one of the most important tourism fairs in the international scene. It is an annual event organized by Institucion Ferial de Madrid with the support of, among others, the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.
Through FITUR, the Philippines promoted 2015 as the Visit the Philippines Year to a broad international audience. It also served as a venue for business-to-business meetings of the Philippine delegation headed by Department of Tourism Director Verna Covar-Buensuceso, and representatives of nine companies from the Philippine tourism industry, namely, Annset Holidays, Inc., Baron Travels, Inc., Constellation Travels, Inc., Intas Destinations Management, Inc., Mart Evers Travel and Tours Corp., Paradise Garden Boracay Resort and Convention Center, the Peninsula Manila, Shroff International Travel Care, Inc., and Ten Knots Development Corporation.
The Philippine pavilion featured sounds, sights and flavors which delighted audiences. It had the crowd dancing to the lively drumbeats of the Patiqueros, a Filipino percussion band from Bacolod City. This was accompanied by an impressive display of bartending skills by Mr. Dennis Balero, a Madrid-based Filipino national.
The Philippine pavilion also saw guests queuing for mango, ube and coconut-flavored ice-cream from an authentic “sorbetero” cart. Guests were also treated to an array of Filipino dishes.
The Philippine Embassy, led by Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas assisted in the Philippine participation to FITUR. It has been said that the Philippine participation in FITUR 2015 has exceeded its participation in previous years in terms of size of the delegation from the Philippines, the size of the rented pavilion and even the level of excitement generated by the Philippine presence.
FITUR 2015 welcomed the participation of 9,107 companies from 165 countries and the presence of around 200,000 visitors from around the world, of which 120,000 were professionals. The tourism fair also launched two new programs: FITUR Health and FITUR Shopping, which combines business offerings, B2B encounters and a professional working forum.