Secretary Jimenez Leads Philippine Tourism Efforts in Spain
15 April 2014 – Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. was in Madrid, Spain from March 12 to 15 to lead efforts in encouraging Spanish investments in the Philippine tourism sector and in promoting the country as a destination for Spanish tourists.
The DOT, in close coordination with Philippine Embassy in Madrid, organized two main activities for the visit – an Investment Forum and a Travel Trade Workshop and Exchange for Spanish tour operators on March 13.
The Investment Forum, which consisted of an investment presentation by Secretary Jimenez and a networking lunch, attracted 32 participants from the Philippines and Spain, including representatives from NH Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Grupo Blue Bay, Magma Hospitality Consulting, Asetra Balnearios y Spas, Seven Seas Sports, Amadeus, Ayala Land Hotels and Resorts Corporation, Megaworld Corporation, Fuego Hotels and Properties Management Corporation, Philippine Transmaritime Carriers Inc., among others.
In his concise and inspiring presentation, Secretary Jimenez outlined the benefits of investing in the Philippines and expressed hope that the historical ties that bind the Philippines and Spain will serve as an impetus for greater Spanish arrivals to the Philippines.
Philippine Ambassador to Spain Carlos C. Salinas, who gave the Forum’s welcome remarks, Consul General Emmanuel R. Fernandez, and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Secretary for Member Relations Carlos Vogeler were also in attendance during the said event.
On the evening of March 13, the Travel Trade Workshop and Exchange attracted a total of 64 of the biggest Spanish tour operators. Nine Philippine tour and resort operators promoted their various offerings and packages during the three-hour event.
In between tourism and investment promotion activities, Secretary Jimenez, accompanied by Ambassador Salinas, met with Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy, and Tourism Jose Manuel Soria Lopez and UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. The UNWTO headquarters is located in Madrid.
Spanish arrivals to the Philippines grew from 15,895 in 2012 to 17,126 in 2013. This represents a 7.74% growth from the previous year’s arrival numbers. END