Gov’t, travel agents push new tourism sites


The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) are promoting emerging tourist destinations to meet target growth rates and make income opportunities more widespread.

Some 5.5 million foreign tourists and 35 million domestic tourists are expected to travel nationwide this year. Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Davao and Puerto Princesa are among their top picks but the DOT and the PTAA are also promoting places such as Baler and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza), PTAA head of public relations Aileen Clemente said. Baler hosts 15 resorts while Ceza has 17 hotel-resort locators.

Promoting new destinations would ease the pressure on mainstream sites and also distribute income opportunities toward the countryside, Assistant Tourism Secretary and spokesperson Benito Bengzon Jr. said.

Part of efforts to promote new destinations is to hold events such as the upcoming 20th Travel Tour Expo 2013, which will take place from Feb. 15 to 17 at the SMX Convention Center. The event will feature tourism ambassadors (such as Hello Kitty from the Japanese embassy) as well as daily activities and raffle prizes (such as travel points from Asia Miles) to encourage more travel, said Clemente, who chairs this year’s expo.

Travel Tour Expo participants are expected to generate 20 percent more sales from the three-day event this year from the P310 million generated during the 2012 expo, Clemente said. More travel deal seekers are expected to attend the event, with 100,000 visitors expected this year from 60,000 last year.

PTAA president John Paul Cabalza said the sales growth would also come from the higher number of booths to 554 from 477 in 2012.

“The tours booked at the expo could serve as a dry run for new destinations before tour operators actively promote their sites abroad. Visitors, meanwhile, benefit from great discounts and prizes available at the expo,” Clemente said.

Foreign destinations will also be featured such as Japanese prefectures promoted in the Japan pavilion or Malaysian sites in their country pavilion. “Filipinos going abroad are also welcome because they also market the Philippines in their own way, so hopefully that would later translate to more foreigners coming here,” PTAA media committee head Marciano Ragaza said.

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  • buttones

    Lot of statistics in this report- too many, and we should be careful what we wish for just to earn a few pennies, it seems to me the focus is on ‘resorts’ which basically means sea, sand and coconut trees, and the inevitable bar and all that goes with that, which I guess is all we have basically, and PH hardly has monopoly on this either. Pursuit in this field leads to degradation of our natural beauty spots, they tell me Borocay ’aint what it used to be, the chocolate hills of Bohol seem to be being stolen one by one for limestone, the famous rice terraces in the north are in disrepair–the jungles are basically gone, or infested with radical armed groups, the streets of our cities are not safe, our infrastructure to accommodate tourists is at the moment limited. We have little to offer that our neighbors do not, many of them have a cultural legacy to show, ancient temples, wonderful architecture….
    As I said we should be very careful what we do and not just rush into something to satisfy DOT statistics, so many places in the world have become degraded for the sake of a short term gain, just SLOW DOWN AND THINK! It seems to me the DOT policy is trying to prove something and it maybe the cost of which will prove too high at some point. Thankfully I live on a tiny island that was designated a ’wilderness’ zone by Marcos, so little major resort activity happens, and thank God for that…but we still have our foreigners come, and the local girls have to earn a living, and now we have a drug problem as well—

  • Carum Al Dumal

    Places like Hinatuan in Caraga, Surigao Sur? (Mindanao)  which was probably affected by Typhoooooon Pablo needs to be promoted again. I would love to go there one of these days – soon I hope.

  • Billy Reyes

    Linisin ang Pasig River make this the center of attractions like all European Cities there river is always their landmark, restore Intramuros, escolta, sta. cruz like it used to be during Spanish Time.

  • TheVi11ain

    It’s good to develop and promote new tourism sites but I really hope the government will try harder in maintaining the beauty of the old, known tourist spots.  :)

  • Jesse Tan

    Calicoan com
    Caramoan com
    Siargao com
    PortIrene .com  Used Car Shopping Tour

    Are three places worth visiting in Philippine Islands
    visit the website we are selling some of them

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