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DOT welcomes biggest European travel operator to RP

Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The Department of Tourism (DOT) recently hosted a successful welcome reception for the Meier’s Weltreisen, Europe’s biggest travel group, at the National Museum.

The group is in the country to hold its much-coveted event, the Far East Live Seminar (FELS), a 4-day convention and ocular inspection of hotels and resorts. A total of 265 officers, agents and partners, representing top-selling travel agencies in Germany and Austria is participating. Ten foreign media members of travel publications also joined the group to cover the event.

The main entrance of the National Museum was lined up with members of DOT’s welcome party dressed up in Filipiniana and ethnic costumes. A red carpet was laid out from the bottom of the steps into the entrance where the welcome committee composed of Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque Jr., Undersecretary for Sports and Wellness Cynthia Carrion, and Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza General Manager Bernd Schneider, greeted each and every member of the Meier’s group.

Meier’s Vice President Matthias Rotter acknowledged the country’s unwavering support to European tour operators, “We feel honored that we are celebrating our 20th year here in the Philippines, with your warm people, sunny destinations and unwavering support of your tourism industry.”

Durano presented Rotter a Manunggul Jar as a gift that symbolizes the country’s historical and cultural artistry.

“Bringing the Meier’s FELS here in the country has been accomplished through our partners in tourism- the transportation sector, hotels and resorts, and travel operators among others. And we can’t thank our partners enough for making the Meier’s 20th year a milestone for them and for us, as we welcome them to the country for the first time,” said Durano.

Jarque stressed that the European market is growing steadily as the Europeans keep discovering a wide range of tourism packages in the country, “They are always looking for something different to do, and we have almost all - diving, sky rides, heritage sites tour, trekking, birdwatching, water sports, that are offered at value-for-money rates.”

The group’s itinerary includes city tour and hotel inspection in Manila, FELS workshop at Boracay Shangri-La Resort and Spa, and ocular inspection of Boracay resorts.

The FELS has been proven to increase tourism arrivals in Asian countries where it has been previously held. In 2006, Vietnam’s arrivals went up by 40%, while in 2007, Thailand experienced a double growth in tour package bookings.

The annual workshop is furthermore a recipient of the ‘Willy Scharnow Prize,’ a prestigious award in the travel trade industry which is presented during the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin.

Tourism Sec. Ace Durano with Meier's Weltreisen's travel goup