Tourism industry, one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, is eager to bounce back.
The 21st Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) concluded on Friday as delegates praised the Philippines for its successful hosting.
“We really have rediscovered travel,” said Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the WTTC in her closing speech and noted how “welcoming” the Filipino people are.
“That warmth, that passion, that generosity, that smile. I haven’t walked out one corridor without people saying to me ‘Good morning!’. It’s incredible.”
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said the summit has given the Philippines the opportunity to showcase “how beautiful the country is.”
The event kicked off on April 20 with travel industry leaders, including airlines and airports, hotels and hospitality groups, tour operators and retail travel agents, online distributors, cruise lines, investment companies, insurance groups, and the technology industry.
Puyat also shared that many of the delegates decided to extend their stay in the country where the Department of Tourism is happy to
“set an example of how to open safely”
Destinations such as Boracay, Davao, and El Nido in Palawan have been popular among the WTTC attendees.
“This has been a wonderful global summit and, to echo your brand campaign, we certainly had lots of fun in the Philippines. This is an experience all the delegates of the Summit can definitely attest to,” WTTC Chairman Arnold Donald said in his closing address.
The event ended with a high note from WTTC’s knowledge partner ForwardKeys which forecasted a significant increase in global international flights bookings as nations bounce back from the pandemic.
According to ForwardKeys, several international destinations are already reporting bookings surpassing pre-pandemic levels. These include Costa Rica, Aruba, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.
Travelers are eager to travel more following the loosening of restrictions, a phenomenon netizens call “revenge travel” against the coronavirus that has grounded most of us.
The Philippines is the fastest-growing single destination in Southeast Asia, 29 percent up in the second quarter this year compared to the first quarter.
Puyat thanked the delegates and participants for the success of the summit and for the
“outstanding commitment you have shown in support of the recovery and continued growth of the global travel and tourism industry.”
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