Exploring Philippines in a Caravan: the Combined Efforts of DoT and PhilTOA

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On September 2014, the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DoT) declares 2015 as “Visit the Philippines Year”. Last year, the tourism sector launched a different campaign—the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”—and, by appending it with this year’s “Visit the Philippines 2015”, the department hopes to maintain—or even improve—the country’s already flourishing tourism rates.

Cordillera Heritage Warrior Fun Carravan 2015
Cordillera Heritage Warrior Fun Carravan 2015

One of the first sectors to respond to this action is the Philippines Tour Operators Association (PhilTOA), one of DoT’s longest partners in promoting tourism and national economic growth in the country. PhilTOA is the largest association of tour operators—which include resorts, hotels, airlines, and the like. This year, in line with DoT’s campaign, PhilTOA launches a campaign called “Islands Philippines Fun Caravans”, which, when combined with “Visit the Philippines”, gives tourists the perfect chance to “Visit the Philippines” through “Fun Caravans”!

PHILTOA Members in Batanes
PHILTOA Members in Batanes

“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,” says PhilTOA President Cesar Cruz.

Philtoa Members in Albay
Philtoa Members in Albay

PhilTOA’s “Islands Philippines Fun Caravans” features 8 caravans in total, with 5 as major ones and the remaining 3 as minors. As the name of the campaign itself states, tourists, instead of travelling individually, will be given the chance to travel in caravans—and therefore make your normal vacations more fun!

The major caravans are: 1) the Cordillera’s Heritage Warrior Caravan, which will travel through the Cordilleras, namely San Jose, Santa Fe, Lagawe, Banaue, Bontoc, Sagada, and some Baguio provinces, 2) the Plains and Heights of Central Luzon Caravan, which will travel through Pinatubo, Tarlac, Baguio, Pangasinan, and Subic, 3) the Southern Luzon Kulinarya that will go through Alaminos, San Pablo, Nagcarlan, Liliw, Majayjay, Lucban, Tayabas City, Sariaya, and some San Juan provines, 4) the Visayan Charm Caravan that will travel through Visayas regions Bohol, Cebu, and Boracay, and, 5) the Bicol Express Caravan that will travel through Naga, Legazpi, Sorsogon, and Misibis.

The minor caravans are: 1) Rediscover Batanes Caravan, which will focus on touring its passengers in wonderful Batanes, 2) the Northern Palawan Eco Adventure Discovery, which will travel through Palawan’s Calamianes group of islands, and 3) the Hola, Zamboanga Caravan, that will highlight the Mindanao province’s culture.

PHILTOA Caravan in Bicol
PHILTOA Caravan in Bicol

“The Islands 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,” PhilTOA President Cesar Cruz says in an interview.

Each caravan in the campaign is also scheduled to travel for 3 to 7 days, and Cruz also explains that PhilTOA plans to enhance tourism by encouraging caravan participants to be interactive with one another, and by formulating activities that will provide tourists that unique experience of mingling with the Philippine local communities.

Please contact PHILTOA event secretariat at Tel. Nos.: (02) 812 4513; (02) 822 6964 | Fax No.: (02) 817 4608 | Email: info@philtoa.com; philtravelmart@philtoa.com Website: www.philtoa.com

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