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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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Philippine Travel Mart 2022 sustains tourism recovery, offers exciting promo

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In photo: Philippine Travel Mart sponsors seated from left, Fe Abling-Yu, PHILTOA President, Philippine Air Asia – Ms. Chat Alo – Head of Sales, Bank of the Philippine Island – Jenny Lacerna, SVP and Unsecured Lending and Cards, Products, Joanna Pagdanganan, Sales Head Turkish Airlines. Arlene Tena, Cebu Pacific Air Director for Passenger Sales and Distribution At the back row are PHILTOA Board Jonas King, Trustee Accommodation, Rhea VeleZ, Trustee Transportation, Mary Ann Ong, 1st VP, Lynne Adante -Trustee Other Sevices, Arjun Shroff – 2nd VP and Emy Malate – Secretary General (Photo from THEPHILBIZNEWS/MAS)

By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

After getting a heavy beating from the pandemic since April 2020 not to mention the fact that there had been zero revenue in the tourism industry of the country, with mitigated cases, availability of vaccines and established health protocols across all industries, travelers get ready for the 3Rs — Recover, Retreat, and Revenge.

For us Filipinos, the pandemic taught us so many things and at the same time tested our endurance, and it will be elating to look back that we resiliently beat the odds. It prompted us all to observe utmost restraint, and adapt to the new way of living our daily life especially outside our homes with masks (and sadly, face shields!).

While we are still in pain of losing some of our loved ones, and people we know who died of COVID-19, the tragic death that rocks the whole world taught us to evolve, innovate and adjust to beat the odds and turned them into opportunities.

With renewed hope, the tourism industry is gaining strength after lockdowns brought about by the pandemic, the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA), Inc. announces the return of the Philippine Travel Mart (PTM) for its 33rd year.

The Philippine Tour Operators Association, Inc. (PHILTOA), an organization of tour operators and allied members actively involved in the advocacy of responsible tourism founded in 1986, aims to become the “leading inbound and domestic tourism association with global networks actively contributing to national economic growth” by forging “national and global affiliations and alliances with tourism-related associations and organizations… [and] providing members with dynamic and proactive education and training, product development, programs and fellowship [for] the common good of Philippine Tourism”. PHILTOA launched the Philippine Travel Mart (PTM) in 1994, under the initiative of the Department of Tourism, as a way to fulfill their mission and vision.

After a two-year hiatus, this year’s PTM theme is “Safe Travels”. With at least 70 million Filipinos fully vaccinated and tourism outlets welcoming foreign tourists, a safer and more relaxed environment awaits eager travelers looking for memorable tropical adventures. They call it “revenge travel”, a way to get back at isolation and boredom while responsibly exploring new trails or planning a much-awaited return to a beloved place.

“It is with great joy and excitement that we invite everyone to the biggest Philippine Travel Mart to date. We’ve been waiting for a long time and now is the perfect time to travel again, support local businesses, and explore the Philippines and beyond,” shares PHILTOA President Ms. Fe Abling-Yu.

WHAT TO EXPECT

The three-day travel expo starts on September 30th and will feature over 200 exhibitions from local and international participants showcasing exclusive domestic and international travel packages, some of which offer the best bang for every traveler’s buck. With sustainable tourism and community engagement in mind, the PTM only partners with reputable agencies and businesses. 

Every year it is part of the expo’s mission to highlight new discoveries for travelers to explore, while also showcasing the best islands in the archipelago: from award-winning islands recognized around the world to cultural hotspots to experience the rich and vivid history and culture of Filipinos. With all regions of the Philippines participating in the three-day event, it is the best place to know more about the wonders of Luzon, the riches of Visayas, and the colors of Mindanao.

Local tourism is at the forefront of the expo with a zone designated for different offers: Yellow Zone for MICE and Entertainment; Blue Zone for Beach, Cruise, and Marine Sports; Green Zone for Cultural and Agro/Farm/Eco-Tourism; and Pink Zone for Health, Wellness, and Culinary. Each zone is bursting with information and offers from duly accredited tour and travel agencies, hotels and resorts, theme parks, airlines, as well as provincial and regional agencies. 

“There are so many reasons to explore the Philippines and our ASEAN neighbors. We hope visitors will find amazing deals at PTM, as well as gain more knowledge about our own country. We have interactive booths highlighting Philippine regions and the biggest among them will be the Mindanao exhibition,” says Ms. Abling-Yu.

Travelers of all ages and budget levels will find something to explore at PTM with ASEAN tour packages in breathtaking Bali, historic Siem Reap, and bustling Ho Chi Minh. More packages in must-visit Asian destinations  like Japan, China, and South Korea are also available at the expo.

Taking the expo to more high-tech and convenient heights, visitors can scan the QR codes of exhibitors to find their locations as well as conduct paperless transactions. 

Whether you’re traveling for business or for leisure, solo or with a group, the Philippine Travel Mart will give you more reasons to pack those bags and go exploring.

MEET THE TRAVEL ADVOCATES

The 33rd Philippine Travel Mart is also proud to present the country’s top lifestyle influencers as the expo’s official Travel Advocates: gender equality activist and broadcast journalist, Queenmelo Esguerra; journalist and events specialist, Marbee Shing Go; Anton Diaz, one of the pioneers of the blogging community and founder of Our Awesome Planet; host and digital creator, Patty Laurel Filart; and  TV/radio and events host, Sam YG. 

“There’s just so much about Baguio and the Cordilleras that meets the eye. More than the tourist spots I got to visit in my childhood, Baguio is the perfect destination for different kinds of escape. The cold, the trees, the fog, the art all over the city, and the culture that’s evident in everyday life,” shares Marbee Shing Go, who grew up in Baguio and moved back home during the pandemic.

“The most unforgettable destination locally is our trips to Batanes. Exploring the island of Batan, the heritage sites of Sabang, and the remote island of Itbayat,” says Anton Diaz.

Sam YG shared how much he and his wife love beaches. And in the Philippines, we have a surplus of world-class beaches. His favorite destination is El Nido, with its pristine beaches and vibrant marine life, Cebu, as well as Panglao, Bohol, and of course, Boracay.

Patty Laurel-Filart loves traveling with her family and they hit beaches regularly. “The Philippines is such a gorgeous country. We are so blessed to be living here and local travel allows everything to be very accessible for all of us,” she shares. “Now when it comes to beaches, my recommendations of course would be Palawan, Boracay, but you should also check Siquijor and Mati, Davao Oriental, my mom’s hometown and it’s stunning there.”

Anton Diaz, who’s also an entrepreneur, gets his inspiration from his travels. “I always look forward to travel as an educational experience, to open my mind to new possibilities, to new opportunities, and it serves as an inspiration to me for my work and my business. This is actually where I get a lot of my new ideas for content or new businesses.”

Queenmelo Esguerra uses travel to broaden her perspective. “I have always considered traveling as my means of learning more about life. Travel allows me to know new cultures, experience new adventures, and meet new people.”

“Traveling does not have to be expensive… especially now that [there are so many deals] would allow you to visit our very own country, the Philippines, and explore 7,107 islands,” said Sam YG.

Patty Laurel Filart says it best: “There’s just so much to discover so much to explore in the Philippines. Local travel is the best gift you can give yourself.” And perhaps also the best gift you can give to your country.

The 33rd Philippine Travel Mart (PTM) is happening from September 30 to October 2, 2022 at the SMX Convention Center Manila (Halls 1 – 4), Seashell Lane, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. The travel fair is co-presented by the Department of Tourism and the Tourism Promotions Board and supported by Diamond sponsor Bank of the Philippine Islands, Silver sponsor AirAsia, and Bronze sponsor Cebu Pacific.

For more information about PTM, visit www.philtravelmart.com. For the complete schedule and exhibition layout, visit www.philtravelmart.com/exhibition-layout. For inquiries, contact the PHILTOA Secretariat at (632) 8812-4513, (632) 8822-6964, (632) 8925-6265, (+63) 922-816-2772, or email philtravelmart@philtoa.com.

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