TTE rouses the Pinoy’s wanderlust

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Full support for the TravelTour Expo 2014. (From left) David Stoughton, payments product director of Citibank (platinum sponsor and credit card partner); John Paul Cabalza, PTAA president and chairman of TravelTour Expo 2014; Marciano Ragaza 3rd, executive director TravelTour Expo 2014 and OIC secretary general of PTAA; Jojo Fermin, vice president for marketing of Philippine Airlines (platinum sponsor and official carrier); and Jojo Clemente, project director TravelTour Expo 2014

Full support for the TravelTour Expo 2014. (From left) David Stoughton, payments product director of Citibank (platinum sponsor and credit card partner); John Paul Cabalza, PTAA president and chairman of TravelTour Expo 2014; Marciano Ragaza 3rd, executive director TravelTour Expo 2014 and OIC secretary general of PTAA; Jojo Fermin, vice president for marketing of Philippine Airlines (platinum sponsor and official carrier); and Jojo Clemente, project director TravelTour Expo 2014

Annual fair gets bigger and more diverse in 21st edition
The 21st Travel Tour Expo (TTE) is fittingly titled “Love Life, Love Travel” for 2014 because the Filipino has certainly fallen more and more in love with exploring new destinations these last several years.

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This phenomenon can be attributed to the advent of budget packages in what is now a competitive yet integrated travel market that seeks to offer travelers the best airline rates, room rates, and tour fees, within the Philippines and around the world.

Certainly, the annual Travel Tour Expo organized by Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) has been key in rousing wanderlust among Filipinos. For year after year, the TTE has made what was once an exclusive pastime for the affluent to travel the islands and discover the world possible for more and more Filipinos.

“As a teaser to this year’s TTE, we can promise visitors as much as 80-percent discounts on special promotions from our exhibitors,” announced Marciano Ragaza 3rd, TTE 2014’s executive director, at a news conference on Tuesday.

He cited more figures to show that the Philippines has truly turned into a dynamic travel market, with the forthcoming 21st edition of the TTE growing by leaps and bounds. To start with, the expo, which runs from February 14 to 16, will now occupy a combined space of over one hectare at the SM Convention Center of the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. To be more specific, the TTE is spreading out from Halls 1, 2 and 3 in 2013 to Hall 4 and Function Room 5 this year to accommodate a burgeoning number of exhibitors.

“That’s an impressive total of 11,480 square meters,” Ragaza calculated, following on with even better news that the number of exhibitors has reached 534 this year, with some 30 more on the waitlist.

‘Sights to behold’
In running through 2014’s list of TTE participants, Ragaza promised a diverse display of products, not to mention exhibits that will be “a sight to behold.”

“Not only do we have travel agencies, airlines and hotels joining us as always, but we now also have theme parks, cruise line companies, medical tourism representatives, travel insurance, and even travel items like luggage in the mix,” he continued.

He singled out the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Philippine Airlines’ forthcoming displays as must-sees because the government agency and flag carrier are set to occupy a pavilion each, rather than the customary booths.

“The DOT used to put together a region per region display, but this year, they submitted a design that will occupy 300 square meters,” Ragaza elaborated. “I’m sure it will be a sight to behold, as will be PAL’s pavilion, which is even bigger.”

Another remarkable development in this year’s TTE is the inclusion of national tourism organizations from around the world participating.

“To have tourism organizations from other countries wanting to be part of the TTE is a clear sign that the Philippines is a promising travel market and that Filipinos are really traveling more and more today,” Ragaza enthused.

Big boost
PTAA president and TTE organizing committee chairman John Paul Cabalza clarified, however, that despite the participation of international destinations, the TTE equally promotes inbound and outbound tourism.

“Due to the success of the TTE in the past years, we have also noted a growing number of international buyers coming to the expo, which effectively increases the number of tourist arrivals in the country,” he imparted. “And even among Filipinos, the figures still show that they do travel more within the country based on the packages and promos they acquire from the expo.”

All these considered, the Department of Tourism acknowledges a big boost in domestic tourism, owing largely to the annual TTE. The department estimates domestic tourists to reach 47.7 million in 2014, up from 44.1 million in 2013.

Summing up, Cabalza stated, “The advantage of the TTE, and specifically planning your holiday through travel agents, be it within the Philippines or abroad, are the value of add-ons. Beyond securing good deals on air seats and room accommodations, travel agents can also provide you with the best possible itinerary for your trip, which is essential for today’s traveler.”

With amazing deals to see the Philippines and beyond, what’s not to love about travel?

For more information on the 21stTravelTour Expo 2014, call the PTAA Secretariat at (632) 552-0026 to 29, or email ptaa@ptaa.org.ph and cc: jojoclem@ptaa.org.ph, and ched@ptaa.org.ph. Follow the event at facebookTravelTourExpo.

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