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34th Philippine Travel Mart in September to feature country’s ’emerging destinations’

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) is set to hold one of the country's biggest travel fairs this year to boost the Philippines' emerging travel destinations and enhance its existing tourist spots.

The Philippine Travel Mart (PTM), now in its 34th year, aims to promote the country's "hidden gems," or underrated tourist attractions, aside from the already strong demand for packaged tours in popular destinations.

The one-stop set-up will take place on September 1 to 3 at the SMX Convention Center Manila in Pasay City.

"The highlight of the Philippine Travel Mart is to enhance the existing destinations but to help the emerging destinations to be developed," PHILTOA President Fe Abling-Yu said during the press launch on Thursday, attended by several travel partners and hotel executives.

"In cooperation with the local government, we will always be there to support and to come up with any project," she added.

PHILTOA mentioned places they consider "under the radar but deserve to be explored" such as Zamboanga Peninsula, Quirino, Marinduque, Romblon, Masbate, Basilan and provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City.

They also vowed to promote Borongan, Samar, which is known as the "City of the Golden Sunrise" and aspires to be the "King City of the East."

Feature for this year

As the demand for travel increased after months of lockdowns, the PHILTOA anticipates that the foot traffic of this year's PTM will surpass that of last year's event.

The three-day event will have nearly 300 exhibitors from all 17 regions of the Philippines, bringing together hotels, resorts, travel agencies, tour operators and tourism offices under one roof.

The travel trade exhibition promises its patrons a "more organized" setup this year for the easier perusal of packages from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and the advantage of availing discounts and deals exclusive only for on-the-spot bookings.

"The PHILTOA has been an institutional project, travel show… In this year's Philippine Travel Mart, as there has been the ease in pandemic restrictions, the 'revenge tourism' has emerged which is something we expected," Abling-Yu said.

In an ambush interview with the press, Tourism Promotion Board Chief Operating Officer Margarita Nograles affirmed their support "in every step" of the PHILTOA's travel trade exhibition

"Our vision is really to bring unique Filipino identity to the world, create experiences that are uniquely ours to share," Nograles said.

Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority data, the country's total internal tourism expenditure in 2022 registered P1.87 trillion, or an increase of 131.2%, from its 2021 level of P810.20 billion.

The PTM is in partnership with the PHILTOA, Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board, and commercial airline authority Philippine Airlines. — Intern, Bless Aubrey Ogerio

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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