More than 30 countries from all over the world participated in the Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) 2021 via hybrid format from September 20-23 at the ACEA Subic Beach Resort in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Now on its second year as a hybrid event, PHITEX goes online and onsite in Subic and welcomed 156 Philippine sellers and 122 buyers from 33 countries for a 2-day online business-to-business (B2B) session and networking.

Organized by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, the marketing and promotions arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), PHITEX highlighted the theme “Beyond Business: Co-creating Safe, Smart, and Sustainable Tourism”.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat stressed that amidst the reopening of tourism in the country, safety is the number one priority for tourism. While DOT pushes for the strengthened reopening of tourism and easing of travel restrictions, it has always anchored its decision to the government’s up-to-date guidelines.

“Our considerations have been altered by the adverse impact of the pandemic to our industry,” she said in her opening message. “Safety has become the number one concern of today’s travelers, and it’s something that the DOT, our partners in government, and all Philippine tourism stakeholders, have carefully taken into consideration when we began the difficult task of plotting the recovery of the industry”.

Puyat underscored DOT’s mission to reach 100 percent vaccination for all tourism workers by 2022. This includes hotel and restaurant workers, travel agencies, as well as boatmen, massage therapists, and other employees who directly engage with tourists. To date, DOT has recorded 95 percent vaccination for tourism workers in Manila. Puyat eyes the smooth roll-out of vaccination in other key destinations which shall help in boosting domestic tourism.

Subic Bay Freeport Zone became this year’s choice for PHITEX 2021 as it met the DOT requirements for holding MICE events in wide-open spaces. Coordination was made possible with the help of the SBMA as the Government Owned & Controlled Corporation (GOCC) managing the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Sec Berna presents The World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels Stamp to Acea Subic Beach Resort Operations Manager Marjorie Anne Morales.

PHITEX 2021 is being held in strict compliance with new normal safety and health protocols and in adherence to the guidelines set by COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). All participants onsite are fully vaccinated and have all tested negative thru RT-PCR Testing one day prior to the event.

The event venue Acea Subic Beach Resort also received The World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels Stamp, the world’s first-ever global safety and hygiene stamp that certifies that resort’s adherence to safety protocols.

About Author

Gelyka is a writer from Rizal. She loves conversations over a cup of coffee or craft beer, baking and cooking, and discovering stories while on the road. She is currently the Managing Editor of Teal Magazine and co-founder of Teal House Media. Follow her personal blog at

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