The Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) in partnership with Emirates, the official UAE flag carrier has established an agreement to promote the Philippines in the Middle East, Europe, and other countries being serviced by the Gulf carrier.
Under the agreement, the DOT and Emirates will jointly launch market promotions, familiarization tours as well as roadshows to boost opportunity for business and trade in the country.
PHL Tourism to Get a Boost in Europe, Middle East through DOT-Emirates Partnership
According to Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., the partnership is a welcome development to the department’s activities to attract tourists from long-haul countries in Europe and the Middle East, as shared in a report by the Philippine News Agency.
Bengson shared, “It is always our goal to improve air connectivity from long-haul countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland, and other major tourist source markets in Europe. However, the absence of sustained and direct air connectivity from the said areas limits our ability to grow as packages to the Philippines become less competitive compared to our neighbors in Southeast Asia.”
He added that long-haul markets offer more benefits not only for tourism but also to hotel and resort operators, travel facilitators, and other stakeholders as they stay longer and spend more.
Thus, the agreement is expected to provide the Philippines with a great opportunity to promote its assets not only in the Middle East but also in Europe, connecting the travelers directly to Philippines’ major destinations such as Manila, Cebu, and Clark via Dubai.
For his part, Satish Sethi, Emirates Airlines country manager for the Philippines, shared: “Major part of it [the agreement] would include business-to-business relationships, we’re also discussing options of familiarization trips to bring in tour operators from across these target markets into the Philippines to showcase your country. We will formalize these shortly.”
Emirates has an extensive network reaching at least 158 destinations in 85 countries and territories.
In the Philippines, Emirates has 18 weekly flights from Manila to Dubai, and daily connecting flights to Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.
According to Sethi, Emirates has carried over nine million passengers in and out of the Philippines in the last two decades, one million of which flew within last year.
This only goes to show how the demand has grown especially in the last 20 years, which reinforces the value of the partnership signed between the DOT and Emirates to boost trade, tourism, and business operations.