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Philippines' 1st luxury mart dreams bigger and bolder
Rosa Ocampo, reporting from Asian Premium Travel Mart, Manila, May 27, 2015

THE Asia Premium Travel Mart (APTM), the first high-end B2B tourism event in South-east Asia, is throwing the spotlight on the Philippines as a luxury travel destination and organisers have outlined a strategy for the show for the next three years.


Edwin Villanueva, director of S8 Exhibition, the show’s organiser, pointed out that the Philippines is a johnny-come-lately whose luxury market is small compared with those of Thailand, Bali, Maldives and Bhutan.


But the company’s president, Fe Abling-Yu, is convinced that the country can catch up with its neighbours quickly. “(We) have an expanding number of luxury properties, service-oriented people, exclusive destinations, and experiential holidays.”


In order to bring the Philippines up to speed, five travel consultants including Abling-Yu, also general manager of Arfel Travel and Tours, and Villanueva, general manager of Light Miles Travel, formed S8 Exhibition.


Villanueva told TTG Asia e-Daily that a “layered strategy” will be adopted in staging APTM, with more target markets added each year. For 2015, APTM is focusing on the luxury leisure market and targets bringing 10,000 arrivals to the Philippines.


Next year, the show will add a MICE component and aim for 30,000 tourists, while medical tourism and a total of 60,000 tourists are the targets for 2017’s edition. 

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