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Ambassador Lourdes O. Yparraguirre (5th from left) and Honorary Consul Dr. Christian Traweger (4th from left), with travel agents and tour operators in Innsburck. Source: Pilippine-Embassy, Vienna

Ambassador Lourdes O. Yparraguirre (5th from left) and Honorary Consul Dr. Christian Traweger (4th from left), with travel agents and tour operators in Innsburck.
Source: Pilippine-Embassy, Vienna

Tourism promotion events were organized in the Austrian cities of Innsbruck and Salzburg by the Philippine Embassy in Vienna, in partnership with Dr. Christian Traweger (Honorary Consul of the Philippines in Innsbruck) and Ing. Thomas Wagner (Honorary Consul of the Philippines in Salzburg). The events were attended by travel agencies and tour operators in the two Austrian cities. Dr. Peter Trost, Head of the Tourism Department of the Chamber of Commerce of Tirol (Wirtschaftskammer Tirol), was also in attendance during the tourism event in Innsbruck.

Some of the companies who sent representatives to the events were Haberl Tours, Christophorus Travel Agency, and TUI Reisen Austria.

To provide travel agencies tour operators a clear picture of the variety of sights and activities that may be of interest to Austrian travelers, a presentation of the major destinations in the Philippines, as well as emerging ones, was made. The attendees were given information on how to reach the Philippines from Austria and other European hubs, the list of airlines which currently fly to the Philippines, and the activities which most visitors enjoy. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the country were also enumerated and discussed.

Focus was given to Palawan, Banaue, Cebu, Bohol, Siargao, Davao, Boracay and Manila. The top attractions in these destinations were presented and described, such as the Rice Terraces in Banaue, the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan, the magical sands of Boracay, windsurfing in Siargao, and the historical sites in Cebu and Manila. In addition, information was given about the most popular resorts and spas in these places, such as El Nido, Amanpulo, Pearl Farm, Shangri-la Resort Boracay, Dedon Island, Discovery Shores, and Mactan Shangri-la Resort. During the presentation, the Philippines was also put forward as a prime diving destination in the world with 400 varieties of corals.

The presentation gave an update on the currents trends in the Philippine tourism industry, the sustained increase in the number of tourist arrivals, as well as in the growth of the number of international flights to the country. In particular, the attendees were informed that Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific will establish flights to Dubai in October, and that Emirates Airlines will have daily flights to Clark International Airport on the same month.

The travel agencies and tour operators who were present gave suggestions on how the Philippines could further attract tourists from Austria. In general, positive reactions were received from the Austrian travel agents and tour operators, and they expressed strong interest in working closely with Vienna PE/PM and the Philippine Honorary Consulates in Innsbruck and Salzburg to promote the Philippines as a tourism destination.