PDoT has joined 20th Busan International Travel Fair in Busan, some 450km south of Seoul closed on Sept.11 after four day run.
Philippines as usual took the center stage of the event with uniqiue booth armed with a wide variety of booth events and promotiional materials.
While showcasing their travel products to Korean consumers, the Philippine travel trade representatives were aggressively stepping up their business-to-business sales activities with new toursim products tailored to summer vacationers in particular.
Gala shows by performers from the Philippines were also among the highlights of the Philippine booths opened at the strarategic location of the exhibition hall.
Given Korea’s history as the Philippines’ top foreign tourist market, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has no doubts that Korea would retain its number one spot in the country’s overall visitor arrivals by yearend, according to new Philippine Tourism Director and Attache Maria Corazon Jorda Apo who arrived here last month to assume the Seoul post.
She has been a public official and serving at the Philippine Department of Tourism for nearly three decades this year.
South Korea remains the top tourist market for the Philippines, accounting for 24.72 percent of the 5.9 million total number of tourist arrivals in 2016. At least 305,052 Koreans have visited the country for the first two months of this year alone, comprising 25.19 percent of the total foreign guests.
Koreans have also consistently topped the list of big spenders, with receipts amounting to PHP 5.83 billion for the month of February 2017 alone.
South Korean market remained as the top source of inbound tourist traffic for the Philippines with 795,085 arrivals representing 23.68 percent of the total market share during the first half of this year.
In the meantime, the Philipppines has a vision of getting two million Korean visitors in the next two to three years.
Director Maria Apo disclosed that there are 52,631 air seats weekly and 210,524 air seats monthly between Korea and the Philippines.
"We have nine airlines flying directly from Incheon, Busan and Daegu to Manila, to secondary gateways to Clark, Cebu, Tagbilaran, Kalibo or Catician," she noted pointing out that these carriers are Philippine Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, Jin Air, Air Asia,Cebu Pacific Air, Jeju Air, Air Busan and T'Way.
"There are two more carriers that have expressed interest in flying to the Philipppines this year," she said.
She then proudly disclosed that just recently one of the Philippine top destination Palalwan has been named "World's Best Island" for two consecutive years 2016 and 2017 by Travel+Leisure Magazine.