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Luxury seekers being wooed to come to PH

/ 12:24 AM February 05, 2016

A group of local travel agencies is seeking to position the Philippines as a luxury destination with the staging of the Asia Premium Travel Mart (APTM), which is mainly focused on attracting high net worth individuals looking for a unique, upscale vacation.

Officials from S8 Exhibition Inc., which is mounting the APTM, said in a briefing Thursday that this program was expected to help the Department of Tourism (DOT) generate higher tourism receipts, which are estimated to hit $6.5 billion this year.

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“We are focusing on premium markets… We are targeting the class A travelers. These are the travelers with 200 percent more purchasing power than your average tourist. For example, the average per capita spend of tourists in the last five years is about P50,000. For APTM, we are targeting the luxury travelers (who can spend) around P77,000 each, which is about 50 percent more than [what] your average tourist [spends],” said S8 Exhibition public relations officer Edwin L. Villanueva.

The target, Villanueva said, was for the APTM to generate as much as P7 billion in receipts within three years.

By bringing foreign buyers to this annual event, which began last year, local travel agencies are able to showcase the country’s capacity to serve the high end market that is looking beyond the standard hotel accommodations and tour packages, said S8 Exhibition president Fe Yu.

Yu said the first staging of the APTM was in May 2015, when the group was able to bring together 50 of the country’s top luxury hotels, resorts, and destinations, and paired them with 100 international buyers from more than 30 countries.

“Travel companies from Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East came and saw for themselves what Philippine tourism can offer. At the same time, these companies have explored and started new partnerships with the local companies they met during our event. Because of the successful first staging of the event, we are now more confident in the fact that the Asia Premium Travel Mart offers one of the most efficient and economical alternatives in pushing Philippine tourism,” Yu explained.

Yu said the target was to have 100 buyers and 100 sellers for this year’s edition of APTM.

Villanueva clarified, however, that the staging of the APTM was not meant to compete with travel expos already held in the country as the group’s event focuses on the high net worth travelers and promotes inbound tourism or the premium local destinations.

The APTM also hopes to attract the big-spending tourists from countries closest to the Philippines including China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

A recent study showed that the biggest tourist spenders come from some of these countries, along with Japan and India.

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In the Philippines, the biggest per capita spenders are tourists from Canada, Indonesia and India, Villanueva added. Amy R. Remo

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TAGS: Business, destination, Luxury, luxury destination, Tourism, Travel, travel agency, Vacation
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