Philippines Debuts at International Wellness Tourism Expo in Tokyo

The Philippines was among the exhibitors at the International Wellness Tourism Expo that took place at Tokyo Big Sight from May 8 to 10. Marking its first-ever participation in an international wellness expo, the country showcased its rich wellness traditions, with a spotlight on the healing art of “hilot,” the traditional Filipino massage.

Visitors to the Philippine pavilion were treated to immersive experiences demonstrating the therapeutic benefits of hilot, which is known for its holistic approach to wellness and its roots in Filipino culture and heritage. Through live demonstrations, guests had the opportunity to experience firsthand the rejuvenating effects of this traditional yet dynamic healing practice.

In addition to hilot, the Philippine exhibitors presented a wide range of wellness offerings, including spa treatments, wellness retreats, and natural healing therapies, all designed to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

The Department of Tourism, through its Office of Product and Market Development, Office in the Cordillera Administrative Region, and Office in Tokyo, spearheaded the Philippines’ inaugural participation in the expo. It was supported by the Philippine Retirement Authority and private exhibitors The Spa Retreat (Okada Manila), North Haven Spa (Baguio City), and The Farm at San Benito (Batangas).

Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Garcia-Albano expressed enthusiasm about the country’s debut at the expo, stating, “We are excited to join this year’s International Wellness Tourism Expo. It serves as an excellent avenue for us to introduce our Japanese friends and other international visitors to the healing traditions of hilot and to extend to them the warm embrace of Filipino hospitality.”

The International Wellness Tourism Expo was “the first exhibition in Japan that brought together facilities, activities, healthy food, and local areas related to ‘wellness tourism’”. This year marked the second iteration of the expo. - PE Tokyo

(Photo): Philippine officials, PRA Marketing Department Manager Noehl Bautista (1st from left); Guimaras Representative Ma. Lucille Nava (2nd from left); Ambassador Mylene Garcia-Albano (3rd from left); Bukidnon Representative Laarni Roque (4th from left); PRA General Manager and CEO Roberto Zozobrado (5th from left); DOT Director for Product and Market Development Paulo Tugbang (2nd from right); and DOT Regional Director for the Cordillera Administrative Region Jovita Ganongan (1st from right) welcome guests at the Philippine Pavilion at the International Wellness and Tourism Expo 2024.