Sunday, September 8, 2013

Travel Industry gears up for the 1st Philippine Tourism Week

Traveling around the country is one activity many Filipinos are deprived with, because being an archipelago divided by 7,100 islands limits us to do it more often. Domestic ocean liners with questionable integrity is one cause of apprehension for most and airline fares can be a little above the budget for many. But one Irony of this is the 11 million OFWs who are now scattered all over the world.So it shows that Pinoys love traveling. 

The Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) in partnership with the Department of Tourism are relentless in making the Philippines to be a destination of choice for tourists, both foreign and local. Last September 1-8, 2013, They mounted the first Philippine Tourism Week which brought together some of the major players in the industry. In a forum, representatives of different delegations discussed some critical issues in the current tourism practices and laid down groundwork for the industry compliance and regional standards. 

A part of PHILTOA’s three year plan is the organization of Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX). It is a travel trade initiative to promote inbound tourism to over 90 buyers originating from Europe, US and Asia. This program is Department of Tourism best effort to reach the target of 10 million tourists by 2016. 

The Expo covered four halls of the SMX Convention Center. There were hundreds of participating industry mostly coming from the hospitality community and resorts. This only shows that resort and hotel business are starting to pick up, and many of the old time players have expanded their reach in other regions, showcasing the beauty of the regions. Provincial Tourism agencies were also at the forefront in displaying the features of a particular province, where places I have never had the chance of visiting yet. 

As expected airline fares from Cebu Pacific, ZestAir, TigerAir and others are beating each other in the rock bottom budget fares in any domestic destination. Resorts and hotels were also offering super discounted rates on off-season months. I also noticed that there were a lot of new players in the hotel and resort businesses, many new spas to check out and even posh hotels within Metro Manila. 

The expo will extend their promos and discounted rates until tomorrow, September 8, 2013. So make your booking early to get the best dates for your travels. Freebies from other participating suppliers of bags and other travel paraphernalia are also available in a much lowered prices. Check out Mares and Oxford booth and get the best quality bags and other gadgets on friendly rates. Truly, the Philippines is on “sale”! Each regions were offering special package tours that will fit any budget. Traveling is still more fun in the Philippines.

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