By PIMO, Marisol Bo-oc | 08:08 PM September 01, 2023
Gov. Aris Aumentado led the Bohol delegation to the 34th Philippine Travel Mart (PTM) held at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
PTM is the biggest and longest-running travel fair that highlights local tourism destinations.
The Bohol booth, prominently set in front of the stage, is consistent with the strategic change agenda of sustainable tourism and with the recent designation of the province as UNESCO Global Geopark.
The booth features the province’s geographic icon Chocolate Hills likewise takes the spotlight in the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) booth.
The municipalities of Anda, Panglao, and Loboc with Loboc River Cruise, Carmen along with LV Travel and Tours and Rio Verde Floating Resto also joined.
Special product participants include the Municipality of Antequera, Aproniana Gift Shop, CocoBerry, Tan Inong’s Asin Tibook, JZAKI Rice Wine, and Tubigon Loomweavers Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
Bohol exhibitors also include Ramyer Travel and Tours, Amorita Resort, Bohol Beach Club, Mithi Resort and Spa, Parklane Hotels and Resort, South Palms Resort Panglao, The Bellevue Hotels and Resort, Bohol Shores, BE Grand Resort Panglao, Bluewater Resort Panglao and Ecotravelers Travel and Tours.
“In our commitment to sustainable tourism, our concepts in all engagements, like in this tourism fair, showcase bamboo as well as local products made and produced in Bohol,” said Bohol Provincial Tourism Office (BPTO) officer-in-charge Joanne Pinat.
Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) president and 34th PTM Chair Fe Abling-Yu welcomed exhibitors, local chief executives and LGU officials, private sector partners, sponsors, tourism associations, and travel stakeholders to the 3-day fair.
Provincial Administrator Asteria Caberte said the tourism boost through this year’s PTM is important as she reported that the province posted a 114.12% increase in arrivals from January to June this year compared to the same period last year.
This is higher than the Department of Tourism (DOT) national figure of 67 percent reported by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco who keynoted the opening program.
Frasco conveyed the support of President Bongbong Marcos to the PTM and towards tourism revival.
She also underscored the country’s potential to become Asia’s tourism powerhouse with 2.55M international travelers and 102M domestic trips in 2022, contributing P1.87 Trillion to the Philippine economy.
Tourism remains the second top economic driver of the country in the first 6 months of this year with 3.6M international visitors between January-August 21, 2023.
Tourism employment is at 5.35M with a recovery rate of 93% from 2019 numbers, she added.
Frasco, Yu, together with PTM partners TPB Chief Operating Officer (COO) Margarita Nograles, as well as sponsors Philippine Airlines president and COO Capt. Stanley Ng, BPI Vice President Stephanie Faye Celorico, and Aliw Broadcasting Corporation McNeil Rante led the ribbon-cutting rites to formally open the travel fair.
The PTM is participated by nearly 300 exhibitors from all 17 regions of the country, bringing together hotels, resorts, travel agencies, tour operators, and tourism offices offering vacation package discounts and deals for travel patrons.
Organized by the PHILTOA and supported by the DOT and TPB, the travel one-stop shop will run until September 3, 2023, as well as the schedule for the UNESCO Global Geopark Program at 1:25-1:55 PM.
Bohol Provincial officials including Board Members Jamie Villamor, Lucille Lagunay, and Nathaniel Binlod together with Carmen Mayor Che Toribio-Delos Reyes, San Miguel Mayor Ian Gil Mendez, Provincial Tourism Council Chair Atty. Lucas Nunag and Vice Chair for private sector Lourdes Sultan also graced the opening festivities. (PIMO/LMS)