President Benigno Aquino III challenges every Filipino to become advocates of the country and promote the tourism industry.
Aquino was the guest of honor during the opening ceremonies of the Travel Tour Expo (TTE) 2014 organized by the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
The President said that is not just about sustaining the appeal of already favored destinations; it is also about discovering and marketing hidden destinations.
“It is not just about getting tourists to visit the Philippines once, but getting them to return. The possibilities ahead are limitless now that the world knows that it is indeed more fun in the Philippines—and each one of us is asked to do his part to realize these possibilities,” Aquino said.
The President also said that the Philippines is making a transition to becoming one of the best places to visit in the world saying that country is one of the top ten destinations by Rough Guides in 2014, one of the 46 places to go by the New York Times in 2013, the Best Tropical Island Destination by the Shanghai Morning Post in 2013, and, fittingly, the Most Romantic Destination by the same publication in 2012.
He also shared the reforms implemented by his administration in support of the country’s tourism industry such as reforms in civil aviation by liberalizing airspace through the Pocket Open Skies Policy, and by rationalizing taxes on foreign carriers, massive investments in infrastructure—from constructing and rehabilitating roads leading to tourism clusters, to upgrading airports and ports in key areas.
The 21st Travel Tour Expo (TTE) 2014 aptly called “Love Life, Love Travel” was scheduled February 14 to 16, 2014 and had a diverse display of exhibits and products.
According to organizing chairman, Mr. John Paul Cabalza the advantage of the TTE is that a traveler can plan their holiday be it within the Philippines or abroad, with the help of travel agents.
“Beyond securing good deals on air seats and room accommodations, travel agents can also provide a traveler with the best possible itinerary for the trip, which is essential for today’s traveler,” Cabalza said.
Travel agencies, airlines and hotels, theme parks, cruise line companies, medical tourism representatives, travel insurance participate in the Expo.
Another remarkable development in this year’s TTE is the participation of national tourism organizations from around the world.
The Philippines welcomed a total of 4,681,307 foreign visitors in 2013, surpassing the 4,272,811 arrivals recorded in 2012 by 9.56%. (RJB/Susan G. De Leon/PIA-NCR)