December 5, 2023

Two of the country’s biggest tourism groups joined forces for a business-to-business fair to boost domestic and inbound tourism.
From March 28 to 29, the Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) and the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) hosted 87 sellers and 105 buyers in the 2023 Travel Exchange in Pasay City.
The two-day event served as a platform for HSMA and Philtoa member hotels, resorts, theme parks, tour operators and agencies to create travel packages that cater to both Filipino and international travelers.
“Our membership is basically nationwide; be it a business hotel or a leisure resort, we have that in our portfolio. In Philtoa, they have all sorts of travel agents that cater to different markets, and I think it’s such an opportune time for this partnership because the global market is starting to breathe again,” HSMA president Loleth So said.
With several Philtoa members offering corporate travel packages, the fair particularly favors the hotels group as its members turn to the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) market as revenue driver.
HSMA chair and Bluewater Resorts vice president for sales and marketing Margie Munsayac said their property’s participation in the first Travel Exchange, organized by the Philtoa last year, already generated around P10 million in bookings.
“We’ve had linkages with tour operators that have government agencies in their account and so they gave us several government agencies for two of our properties. It sustained us for quite some time up to now,” Munsayac said in another interview.
Philtoa president Fe Abling-Yu said the event further benefits tour operators, especially those who have no access or linkages yet with hotels and resorts to put up travel packages that promote local destinations.
“We’ve closed a lot of bookings last year and that’s what we’re also expecting for this year’s event. The tour operators who are participating here are not just doing domestic travel, they are also doing inbound,” Yu said.
The partnership is a first for the two associations and an addition to HSMA’s annual activities towards tourism recovery.
The group, with about 130 members nationwide, is prominent for its flagship September Online Sale. – PNA