IIRR’s Yen Center was proud to host the International Ecotourism Travel Mart (IETM), the world’s first-ever and biggest ecotourism-themed expo, in Silang, Cavite from March 29 – April 2, 2023. The event’s theme was “Embracing Authentic Ecotourism”, aiming to show how ecotourism can be a powerful mechanism to transform tourism into an industry that nurtures the environment while improving the lives and livelihoods of host communities.
Organized by the Japan-based Asian Environmental Network, the IETM promoted the ecotourism sites and indigenous practices and culture of the Philippines and pushed for measures to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The expo shared best practices on ecotourism from global experts and provided networking avenues with ecotourism authorities and advocates. The event also brought together delegates and exhibitors from around the world to showcase products and services with a strong ecotourism component, green technology, and sustainable green practices.
The IETM featured an Ecotourism Interactive Forum, sharing a series of six titles and themes designed to offer practical insights and effective steps to help improve sustainability knowledge and practice. Each session included breakout or discussion group sessions for interaction among the group members and speakers. The forum themes included Introduction to Ecotourism, Sociocultural Dimensions of Ecotourism, Environment and its Impact to Ecotourism, Economics/Business of Ecotourism, Education for Ecotourism, and Technology, Marketing and Promotion for Ecotourism.
The event welcomed visitors from more than 25 countries and several notable hosts and honorary guests, including Department of Tourism Sec. Christina Frasco and Department of Transportation Sec. Jaime J. Bautista (who jointly led the opening festivities of the expo), International School for Sustainable Tourism (ISST) chair and president Dr. Mina Gabor, Silang Mayor Alston Anarna, Miss Earth 2022 Mina Sue Choi, Miss Indonesia Earth Karina Basrewan, and Miss Philippines Earth Jenny Ramp.
The event’s government partner agencies included the Department of Tourism, the Tourism Promotions Board, the Province of Cavite, and the Municipality of Silang.
Please see this article from the Manila Bulletin for more coverage of this unique event.