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EMIRATES TO PROMOTE PHILIPPINES IN MIDDLE EAST, EUROPE – DOT

Dubai-based Emirates Airline and the Department of Tourism (DOT) have inked a memorandum of agreement that would promote the Philippines in the Middle East, Europe, and other markets being serviced by the Gulf carrier.

Under the agreement, DOT and Emirates will jointly market promotions, do familiarization tours as well as roadshows to also boost opportunity for trade.

Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said the partnership is a welcome development to the agency’s efforts to attract tourists from long-haul countries in Europe and the Middle East.

“It is always our goal to improve air connectivity from long-haul countries.”

“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,” Bengzon said.

Citing studies, the tourism official said long-haul markets provide 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.

“Hence, this agreement will provide the Philippines with a great opportunity to promote the Philippines 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,” he said.

Satish Sethi, Emirates Airline country manager for the Philippines, said details on the two parties’ collaboration would be formalized in the next few days.

“We’re discussing options of familiarization trips to bring in tour operators from across these target markets into the Philippines.”

“Major part of it 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,” Sethi said.

Emirates flies to at least 158 destinations in 85 countries and territories.

In the Philippines, it operates 18 weekly flights from Manila to Dubai, and daily flights connecting Filipino travelers to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Americas.

In the last 20 years since its inaugural flight from Manila, Sethi said the airline carried over 9 million passengers in and out of the Philippines, 1 million of which flew within 2018.

“That goes to show how the demand has grown especially in the last 20 years. We look forward in serving the tourism market with our world-class service that the Philippines has grown to love,” he said.

“We know that tourists are primarily coming from South Korea, China, Japan, and the United States. But if you’re just to look at markets like Middle East, Europe, and Africa, that in itself host 2.5 billion people in the world and that’s huge potential money over there,” Sethi added.

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