“That this has been a very difficult and painful year for the tourism industry is indeed an understatement. But we choose to remain hopeful…and we are confident that, as soon as borders reopen and restrictions have been relaxed, the interest that had been building up before will once again surface to revitalize the tourism industry.  This workshop is a great way to prepare for that day, to plan for better days, and to be hopeful in these difficult times.” 

H.E. Leah M. Basinang-Ruiz, Philippine Ambassador to Poland, struck an optimistic tone in her remarks while welcoming Philippine and Polish tour operators to the virtual Tourism B2B Workshop held via Zoom on 02-03 December 2020.  DOT Undersecretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr. and Assistant Secretary Verna Buensuceso also supported the event from Manila.


The workshop was the product of a joint effort by the Philippine Department of Tourism office in Frankfurt and the Philippine Embassy in Warsaw to sustain the strong interest of the Polish public in visiting the Philippines.  It was originally scheduled for March 2020, with planned face-to-face meetings between the tour operators. Before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the travel industry, Poland had been one of the most promising developing markets for Philippine tourism, averaging an annual growth rate of 20.66% from 2014 to 2018, and registering an impressive 25.84% growth rate in 2019.


A total of ten Philippine companies and seventy Polish companies specializing in the luxury travel segment signed up for the event. The event introduced the Polish travel trade to Philippine tour operators and resorts, and facilitated business deals to time with the anticipated reopening of international borders.  END