Tour operators announce tourism efforts for 2015
THE fun is far from over as the country gears up its tourism sector with “Visit the Philippines 2015” campaign.
Launched by the Department of Tourism (DOT), the department clarified that the battle cry is not a replacement for the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” movement. Instead, all the efforts affixed to “Visit the Philippines 2015” will sustain what they started in the preceding endeavors.
In line with this, the Philippines Tour Operators Association (Philtoa), one of DOT’s most active partners in strengthening the country’s tourism sector, is bringing in “Islands Philippines Fun Caravans.” This endeavor will feature five major caravan programs and three minor caravans that are all designed to promote, reestablish, and reinforce tourism activities across the region.
To date, Philtoa is the largest association of registered tour operators, with allied members from various tourism sectors such as airlines, hotels, resorts, tourist transportation, and more. Actively contributing to national economic growth, Philtoa forges national and global affiliations and alliance with tourism-related associations and organizations to enhance and promote domestic and inbound Philippine tourism.
The five major caravans are as follows: the Cordillera Heritage Warrior Caravan, which will encompass San Jose, Santa Fe, Lagawe, Banaue, Bontoc, Sagada, and Baguio provinces; the Southern Luzon Kulinarya that will involve Alaminos, San Pablo, Nagcarlan, Liliw, Majayjay, Lucban, Tayabas, Sariaya, and San Juan provinces; the Visayas Charm Caravan that will underscore Bohol, Cebu, and Boracay; the Bicol Express for Naga, Legazpi, Sorsogon, and Misibis; and The Plains and Heights of Central Luzon Caravan, which will put the spotlight on Pinatubo, Tarlac, Baguio, Pangasinan, and Subic.
Meanwhile, the minor caravans are as follows: Rediscover Batanes for the grandness of Batanes’ plateaus; the Northern Palawan Eco Adventure Discovery for the lush islands, pristine coastlines, and cobalt waters of the Calamianes Group of Island; and Hola, Zamboanga for the vibrant culture and diverse landscape of the province.
Each caravan is calendared in different months throughout 2015, lasting from three to seven days, depending on the number of municipalities included.
Philtoa president Cesar Cruz also adds that the project is designed to provide flexibility in the choices of activities and accommodation in each destination based on the interest and affordability of the participants.
“The Island Philippines Fun Caravans will accommodate both foreign and local markets, where they can choose to bring their own vehicles or avail the caravan vehicle, of course, only if the destinations can be accessed via land transportation. The participants also have the option to avail of the accommodations that will be announced prior to the trip—campsite, lodging houses, hostels, or star-rated properties,” he explains.
Cruz also shares that the caravans are meant to become interactive and participative, hence, there will be programs that will encourage them to immerse themselves in the local communities. Other facets that are expected to be entailed during each course are a dummy passport which will be stamped by the participating local government unit, mini-trade fairs, a festive welcome reception, and other community-based activities that will highlight the best spots and emerging lifestyle and travel trends in the municipalities included in the itinerary.
“As our tourism industry further shapes up through ‘Visit the Philippines 2015,’ Philtoa wanted to contribute through this caravan project, which aims to provide an effective platform for the promotion of different tourist destinations across the country,” ended Cruz.
Philtoa Inc. is a non-stock and non-profit organization of DOT accredited tour operators and allied members actively involved in the advocacy of responsible tourism.
For more information, log on to www.philtoa.com.