With the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 happening in Manila in less than a month, the Philippines has launched tour packages for locals and 50,000-plus foreigners to complement the highly-anticipated sporting event.
The Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa), Hotel Sales and Marketing Association, Tourism Congress of the Philippines, PATA Philippines Chapter, and a consortium of 10 travel agencies will offer attractive airfares, hotels and tour rates from August 1 to September 30, shared Philtoa president Fe Abling-Yu.
Southeast Travel Corp. general manager Marlene Insigne said the tour packages will be sold through a travel app or an online booking site which will also be clickable from the FIBA World Cup Philippines website, as well as on the Department of Tourism (DoT) website, all social media apps of DoT attachés and regional offices, participating hotels and resorts, and the consortium of 10 tour operators.
Insigne added that the link will also be available to the different social media apps of the national basketball association Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, and other sites of Cignal TV.
Manila, Jakarta and Okinawa will co-host the World Cup from August 25 to September 30, of which out of 92 games, 52 will be in Manila as well as the final phase between September 5-10.
“Sporting events are always a big boost to domestic tourism and the FIBA Basketball World Cup, by its sheer number of spectators from abroad and from the country, is going to be a big contributor to further growing tourism this year,” Abling-Yu said on the sidelines of the launch of Philtoa’s 34th Philippine Travel Mart (September 1-3, 2023).
Other sources commented that the preparations to drumbeat Philippine tourism is “super late” and “rushed”, adding that it would have a far greater impact if the tourism aspects were given sufficient time, thought, planning and preparation.
When asked whether metro Manila is prepared for the scores of VIPs and spectators, Arjun Shroff, managing director, Shroff International Travelcare, remarked: “(Thinking of) how to take care of them is a beautiful issue to worry about as hotels are set and ready for the big crowd that will be distributed all over, including Alabang and Quezon City.”
He added: “The World Cup will definitely elevate August, normally a shoulder season, into a peak season.”