Amid a backdrop of growing interest by Gulf holidaymakers to see the Philippines and a record-breaking inbound traffic for January, the country’s government will be sending its biggest delegation yet to the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), a global meeting of key players of the hospitality industry.

The contingent will be led by Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Jr.

Philippine tourism kicked off 2017 with a surge of inbound visitors in January at 631,639, the highest ever recorded volume of tourists received by the country for a single month, surpassing the Department of Tourism’s 600,000 mark.

DOT’s campaign, taglined, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” will zoom in on six premier tourist destinations: Bohol, Davao, Cebu, Bicol, Boracay, and Subic.

“This signals a strong and invigorated campaign as far as the Philippine tourism is concerned pertinent to the Arabian market,” said Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes.

Rene Salud, one of the Philippines’ iconic designers, will also be part of the team, aiming to showcase his designs at ATM.

Glenn Johnston, general manager of Aviareps, marketing agency hired by the DOT to promote Philippine tourism in the region, said the Middle East “has come of age.”

“We have seen a lot more of tourists from here now traveling to the Philippines than before and everyone is still seeing a lot more opportunities to grow. There’s been a lot more airline services with direct flights from the Middle East to the Philippines. All these elements at this point of time have come together,” he said.

A total of 30 co-participants from the Philippines – the biggest, so far – which consists of travel agencies, hotels, resorts and airlines will complete the group that display their products and services during the four-day exhibition happening at Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC), April 24 to 27.