27th PHL Travel Mart
The 27 th Philippine Travel Mart at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, was held recently. It is one of the biggest gatherings of tourism stakeholders in a three-day fair where tour packages are introduced and sold, towns, cities and provinces participate to promote the tourism attractions and destinations in their areas, with only one goal: to increase tourist arrivals.
The Negros Occidental Provincial Tourism Office has been a regular participant in this annual affair, with a target of a 20-percent increase in tourist arrivals this year. Tour operators sent their business cards and tour packages as well. Punta Bulata is the only resort in Negros that is a consistent participant in this event. Negros Oriental also participated with Dumaguete City.
The Philippine Travel Mart is a one-stop-shop for the travellers, planning ahead your vacation can help you save a lot of time and money by availing of promotional rates with big discounts.
This year, Negros Occidental had a three dimensional design for its booth, promoting biodiversity in tourism with two life-size paper-mâchés of spotted deer, an Irrawaddy dolphin, a water buffalo, and bleeding heart pigeons, and MassKara Festival masks for a selfie. Many came and posed on our farm setting with the backdrop of Mt. Kanlaon, dolphin watching at Pulupandan where one pretends to be riding on a paddle boat and on the other side, a forest where deer and pigeons can be found. Indeed, this was a crowd-drawer for families with kids and tourism students from as far as Ilocos and Tarlac.
Most of the DOT regional directors came with Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, she visited each booth with Philippine Tour Operators Association president Cesar Cruz; she went inside our 3x3 booth, had a selfie with us, and covered her face with a mask, showing her support to the MassKara Festival.
The Philippine Travel Mart this year had about 270 exhibitors with total sales of P120 million in three days. In the hotel accommodation category, sales reached P56,221,870 with La Carmela de Boracay as top grosser. The airline industry sold 7,830,429 of tickets of different routes with Skyjet Incorporated as top seller, followed by Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. Enchanted Kingdom won in the big park category, with Asia Travel as winner in the Travel Agency category. Best Pavilion went to City of Dreams with mascots Fiona and Shrek, Best City booth was Davao City.
A day after the Philippine Travel Mart, the Philippine Federation of Tour Guides newly-elected officers and board of trustees, headed by Gene Rose Tecson, Davao City's new tourism officer as president, Erwin Valenzuela of Bulacanas - vice president for Luzon, Jennylind Cordero representing ATON of Negros Occidental as secretary, Zandro Zabalo of Palawan – treasurer, and Enrique Esguerra of Pangasinan – auditor, were sworn into office by Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo at the Department of Tourism main office in Makati City.*
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