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Philippines and Austria Strengthen Tourism Collaboration

Philippines and Austria

In a move to bolster tourism ties, the Philippines is deepening its relationship with Austria, aiming to attract more visitors from this emerging European market. On March 7, 2024, Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco embarked on a working visit to Vienna, Austria, at the invitation of the Austrian State Secretary for Tourism, Susanne Kraus-Winkler. The objective of the visit was to explore avenues for enhancing bilateral relations, particularly in the field of tourism.

Tapping into the Austrian Market

According to the Facebook post of DOT – Philippines, Secretary Frasco highlighted the significant potential of the Austrian market, noting the impressive 89 percent recovery rate of visitor arrivals from Austria to the Philippines in 2023. With 13,180 arrivals recorded, this figure represents a promising opportunity for tourism growth. Notably, the Filipino community in Austria, comprising approximately 30,000 Filipinos and 60,000 Filipino-Austrian nationals, further strengthens the ties between the two nations.

Memorandum of Tourism Cooperation

Philippines and Austria
Photo Credits to Department of Tourism – Philippines

During the meeting held in Vienna, Secretary Frasco expressed the Philippines’ intent to pursue a Memorandum of Tourism Cooperation with Austria. This agreement aims to enhance tourism collaboration between the two countries by fostering exchanges in culture, heritage, and retirement tourism, as well as strengthening sustainable tourism frameworks and hospitality upskilling programs. Additionally, the memorandum seeks to facilitate improved connectivity between the Philippines and Austria, promoting smoother travel experiences for visitors.

Promoting Filipino Tourism Products

Secretary Frasco emphasized the importance of educating and informing Austrians about the diverse tourism offerings in the Philippines. Highlighting attractions such as beaches, dive sites, adventure activities, and experiential travel opportunities, she underscored the appeal of Filipino destinations to European travelers. Furthermore, Secretary Frasco shared initiatives by the Department of Tourism, including training programs for tourism workers and the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program, aimed at enhancing service quality and communication skills.

Secretary Kraus-Winkler expressed Austria’s commitment to strengthening cooperation with the Philippines in the tourism sector. She highlighted the potential of working holiday programs to promote youth mobility and foster cultural exchange. These programs enable young people to gain work experience abroad while exploring the host country’s culture and attractions. Discussions also revolved around sustainability practices and the role of digitalization in driving tourism economies.

Looking Towards Sustainable Growth

The discussions between tourism leaders from the Philippines and Austria underscored their shared commitment to sustainable tourism development. By leveraging bilateral cooperation and exchanging best practices, both countries aim to promote inclusive, resilient, and environmentally conscious tourism industries. The meeting concluded with a sense of optimism for future collaboration, with representatives from both sides expressing gratitude for the opportunity to engage in fruitful dialogue.

In Attendance

Present at the meeting were representatives from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, along with Philippine officials including Ambassador to Austria Evangelina Lourdes Arroyo-Bernas, Deputy Speaker Duke Frasco, DOT OIC-Undersecretary Verna C. Buensuceso, and DOT-Frankfurt Tourism Attaché Dakila Gonzales.

 

Read Also: “Love the Philippines” Tourism Campaign Gains Momentum Across Europe

Report

Written by Marjo Piedad

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