FIBA coaches from Team Italy visit Intramuros

MANILA — Tourism Gets a Slam Dunk with FIBA World Cup 2023

The Philippines, in partnership with Japan and Indonesia, has pulled off an impressive feat by successfully hosting the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. The event, held across multiple venues in Metro Manila and Bulacan from August 25 to September 10, not only showcased the nation’s love for basketball but also provided a significant lift to the local tourism sector.

Booming Accommodations

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco lauded the country’s efforts in hosting the international sporting event, which she says has had a ripple effect on the hospitality industry. Hotels across the National Capital Region (NCR) reported higher occupancy rates, signifying a booming accommodation sector.

Conrad Manila led the list with a 100 percent occupancy rate, followed closely by hotels like Hotel101-Manila and Microtel MOA, both recording a 92 percent occupancy rate. Hilton Manila and TRYP MOA weren’t far behind with 91.8 and 91 percent occupancy, respectively.

Influx of Global Visitors

The Department of Tourism’s Statistics, Economic Analysis, and Information Management Division (SEAIMD) highlighted that the event attracted a significant number of international visitors. Countries with participating teams in the FIBA World Cup reported astonishing growth in their citizens traveling to the Philippines. Among them, the Dominican Republic saw a 700 percent increase, while Latvia, China, Lithuania, and Serbia all reported impressive growth rates exceeding 100 percent.

Whole-of-Government Effort

An inter-agency task force was formed to ensure the event’s success, aligning with President Marcos Jr.’s call for a coordinated approach. Various departments, led by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), worked together to provide top-notch Filipino hospitality.

The Department of Tourism initiated training sessions for nearly 500 volunteers and collaborated with its infrastructure arm, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), to improve facilities ranging from airports to fan zones.

Private Sector Collaboration

National tourism associations banded together to create exclusive FIBA tour packages. The Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA), the Hotel Sales and Marketing Professionals (HSMA), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) were among the collaborators. According to TCP President Bob Zozobrado, the private sector’s support was overwhelmingly positive, marking it as one of the ‘major wins’ of the event.

Moving Forward

Tourism Secretary Frasco is optimistic about the enduring impact of the FIBA World Cup 2023 on Philippine tourism. The public-private partnership model that emerged is expected to continue, especially as the country is slated to host more high-profile international events in the coming years.

With this successful hosting, the Philippines sets the stage for further tourism developments and opens the door for more global events that can similarly benefit the nation’s tourism industry.