Philippine Exhibit Draws Crowd at Israel's Biggest Annual Tourism Fair

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                         Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge and X-Factor Israel winner Ms. Rose "Osang" Fostanes
                                                                          formally open the Philippine booth.

16 February 2014 Tel Aviv, State of Israel. Israelis and visitors from other countries flocked to the Philippine exhibit and had a glimpse of the country's best during the 20th International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) held from 11 to 12 February 2014 at the Israel Trade Fair and Convention Center in Tel Aviv. The annual event and also the biggest tourism fair in Israel was officially opened by Tourism Minister Uzi Landau. In a conference held at the start of the event, Minister Landau welcomed more than three hundred thirty exhibitors from Israel and other countries, as well as thousands of visitors. The opening conference was attended by Israeli officials from the Ministry of Tourism and the Municipality of Tel Aviv, businessmen, especially from the tourism, airline and hotel industries and the diplomatic corps.

Philippines back with bigger and more offers

While the IMTM has been running for 20 years, this is only the second time for the Philippines to join the prestigious event. It may be noted that the country's initial participation last year also coincided with the launching of the Israel-Philippines Tourism Chamber, recognizing the importance of and increasing tourism exchange between the two countries.

The Philippines returned to the fair this year with bigger offers to visitors. The Philippine booth, which was among the biggest, was formally opened by Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge and X-Factor Israel winner Ms. Rose "Osang" Fostanes. It featured the Philippines' top tourist destinations, as well live music performances and cultural dances to let the visitors have a feel of the country's culture. Visitors were also treated to giveaways and souvenir items and a free sampling of one of the country's beer products.

Joining the Embassy and the Israel-Philippines Tourism Chamber during the exhibit were flyeast ltd., Megaworld International and Israeli-owned and Philippine based tour agencies such as Janddy Tours and Tourismo Filipino.

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                 Left photo: Brochures on display at the Philippine booth. Right photo: Members of the Filipino Community
                                                                                  perform a tribal dance.

X-Factor Israel Winner Shows Filipino Talent

X-Factor Israel winner Ms. Fostanes showed that the Philippines also has a lot to offer when it comes to talent when she wowed the audience with her powerful voice, belting out a medley of songs during the fair's opening plenary conference.

After her performance, Ambassador Calonge, along with Israel-Philippines Tourism Chamber Chairman and flyeast ltd. CEO Mr. Yariv Fisher, awarded her an honorary membership certificate to the Chamber. Ambassador Calonge also took the opportunity to promote the Philippines by inviting guests, potential tourists and investors alike, to visit the country. In his remarks at the opening day, Ambassador Calonge noted that Israel has many Nobel Prize winners but has only one X-Factor champion.

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               Left photo: X-Factor Israel winner Ms. Fostanes performs during the opening conference of the 20th IMTM.
               Right photo: Ambassador Calonge, along with Israel-Philippines Tourism Chamber Chairman and flyeast ltd.
                        CEO Mr. Yariv Fisher, award Ms. Fostanes an honorary membership certificate to the Chamber.
 

IMTM, an opportunity for tourism campaign and exchange

The annual International Mediterranean Tourism Market covers just about every aspect of Israel's tourism market such as incoming, domestic and outgoing tourism, not to mention the increasing number of exhibitors from other countries. Being the biggest and most comprehensive tourism fair in Israel, the IMTM is an opportunity for the Philippines' intensive tourism campaign, attracting not only tourists, but also potential investors. The workshops and conferences conducted during the fair, as well as the participants coming from various tourism sectors in Israel and abroad, also afford the Philippines relevant updates in terms of current issues, developments and trends in the global tourism industry.

The 20th IMTM, the fair's biggest and most successful edition, recorded more than three hundred thirty exhibitors and an estimated 21,000 visitors from Israel and other countries. --END--

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            Left photo: Israel Tourism Minister Uzi Landau formally opens the 20th IMTM. Right photo: Ambassador Calonge
                                                           attends the opening conference of the tourism fair.