What to expect in the Philippine Travel Mart 2014? All eyes are on the Southern Tagalog region this time of the year as the Philippine Tour Operators’ Association (PHILTOA), in cooperation with the Department of Tourism’s Region IV office, shines the spotlight on the natural, cultural and culinary treasures of Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and Mindoro.
Inside Liliw Church
“We are focusing on the region in time for harvest season in May, when major harvest season festivals like Pahiyas in Lucban and Agawan in Sariaya are celebrated,” says PHILTOA President Cesar Cruz.
Philippine Travel Mart 2014
The region’s proposed tourism belt takes visitors through the historic Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan, Laguna; the Costales Nature Farm in Majayjay, Laguna; the famous longganisa, pansit habhab, and rice kipping of Lucban, Quezon; the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, Calle Budin and Malagonlong Bridge of nearby town Tayabas; and, the colorful costumes of Sariaya.
Philippine Travel Mart 2014 features CALABARZON Manmade wonders
Furthermore, the natural beauty of Batangas’ coastal areas and Puerto Galera in Mindoro, which are connected to Metro Manila via the Southern Tagalog region, will also be featured in Philippine Travel Mart 2014.
“Accessibility is a great advantage for these areas,” says Cruz. “We would like to promote more destinations that involve land travel, and that are easy to reach from Metro Manila via the tourism convergence highways, including the CALABARZON Expressway, CAVITEX and the Pan-Philippine Highway,” he adds, also citing their aim to showcase excellence of the country’s interregional road networks, in cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
In addition, PHILTOA plans to feature special Region IV tour packages at the 25th Philippine Travel Mart 2014 this coming September. “We want to show our potential visitors that the Southern Tagalog region has so much to offer in terms of heritage sites, food culture, and arts and crafts, all of which are just a few hours away from Metro Manila,” says Rebecca Labit, Regional Director, Department of Tourism – Region IV.
The Philippine Tour Operators Association (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. The membership includes tour operators focused on promoting inbound and domestic tourism, hotel, resorts, transportation companies, handicraft stores, and other tourism-oriented establishments and associations.
For more information on the Philippine Travel Mart 2014, visit www.philtoa.org.