ETW STAFF – Mumbai
The Philippine India Travel Exchange (PHILINDEX) was held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila recently. An industry-based initiative which started in 2009, PHILINDEX is the first-ever bilateral travel exchange between the Philippines and a source market. This is a follow-through of the road-shows that the Department of Tourism (DOT) had organised in Mumbai and New Delhi. A total of 24 Indian tour operators, wholesalers, travel agencies, and around fifty 50 of their Filipino counterparts engaged in table top discussions on how to bolster Indian travel to the Philippines and enhance the potential of the Chennai and Bengaluru markets. “Outbound travel from the two cities make up 26 per cent of total outbound from India,” said Benito Bengzon Jr, assistant secretary, DOT.
“We envision tourism to be a stable pillar of inclusive socio-economic growth. With a target of 10 million visitors by 2016, we need to rethink our strategies and meet new standards of performance in order to grow our existing markets, as well as develop new ones. India is a vast source of potential travellers. Its newfound prosperity and growing affluence will lend its population an increased disposable income for leisure and travel-related pursuits. By 2020, India is predicted to have 50 million outbound travels. By that time, we should have already deepened our stake as a choice destination. This travel exchange is one way of better understanding the needs of this market and its segments. While the future is in online marketing, we equally recognize the strong influence and insights of travel agents particularly for group travel and customisation.”