Philippines waives participation fees for international tradeshows

The Philippines booth at ITB Berlin. Photo: The Philippine Embassy in Berlin

Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DoT) and its marketing arm, Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), have waived the participation fees of companies attending international travel tradeshows, missions and roadshows for this year and the next in support of the beleaguered industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DoT has also imposed a moratorium on the collection of the 6,000 pesos (US$112) accreditation fee for new and renewing applicants this year.

The Philippines booth at ITB Berlin. Photo: The Philippine Embassy in Berlin

While the travel trade welcomed the announcement, they said that it has limited upside for business events companies.

PACEOS (Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers) board member Orly Ballesteros told TTGmice that waiving the participation fee means a saving of US$400 upwards for a company joining the DoT/TPB booths at a business events roadshow abroad but it still has to pay airfares, hotel and related expenses.

“It will be beneficial to those who are already joining shows abroad but for those who are not joining, which are the majority, there is no impact,” explained Ballesteros, pointing out that a financial subsidy for business events organisers in the current climate would be a better option.

Ballesteros also noted that while ideally, Philippine companies do want to participate in joint shows abroad, slots are usually limited as the DoT/TPB typically gets smaller booths due to expensive space, compared with other Asian NTOs that have the means to pay for 30 to 50 business events companies.

Tourism Congress of the Philippines president Jojo Clemente said that the impact of the waived participation fees depends on the number of shows a company attends as well.

“For some companies that attend one or two shows, it might be minimal, but for others who attend many shows, it might be significant savings, depending on their propensity to attend.”

While the 6,000 pesos accreditation fee seems minimal, Clemente opined that it adds up to a substantial sum. He said: “If you take it as a whole, it will total millions of pesos, a big savings for the industry.”

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