InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines is slashing its fares by as much as 70 percent on domestic and international routes during the 19th Travel Tour Expo 2012 this weekend at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Well-known hotel chains, luxury resorts, and hotel management groups are also offering discounts as much as 30 percent on their properties' published rates only during the expo.
Aileen Clemente, president of the Philippine Travel Agencies Association which organized the event with the Department of Tourism told InterAksyon.com that the fair is seen generating P330 million in sales this year. Clemente expects visitors to exceed the 60,000 recorded last year.
The three-day event which begins on February 17 will have over 450 booths featuring around 200 local and international organizations including travel agencies, airline companies, cruise operators, domestic tour operations, government agencies, embassies, national tourism organizations, hotels and resorts, international tour operators, travel shops and more, she said.
PAL is the official carrier of the event.
She added: "Our advocacy is to showcase the best of the world to the visitors. So we're trying to make it easy for visitors to purchase (the travel packages) by partnering with a bank (Citibank)."
PAL says that its one-way, domestic tickets will go as low as P777 for any of its destinations in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao, for travel between February 21 to March 21, 2012; P1,000 to Luzon or Visayas and P2,000 to Mindanao for travel between March 22 to May 31, 2012; and P555 to Luzon or Visayas and P777 to Mindanao for travel between June 1 to August 15, 2012.
Huge discounts will also be offered on its international destinations. For instance, roundtrip, economy class tickets will just be for $30 to Bangkok and Singapore; $67 to Hong Kong, Macau and Saigon; $117 to Delhi; $327 to Melbourne and Sydney; $337 to Honolulu; and $507 to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Vancouver.
Other regional airlines as well as domestic low cost carriers will also be offering discounts by as much as 50 percent on their air fares. "We have a range of airlines participating in the travel fair from low-cost carriers to major carriers which will be giving the best value for your money," Clemente stressed.
Meanwhile, internationally-recognized luxury resorts in the country participating in the travel expo include Discovery Shores Boracay, Bella Rocca Island Resort and Spa in Marinduque, Misibis Bay Resort in Albay, to name a few. Discovery Shores, for instance will be offering a three-day/two night package for just P14,555 per person. Discovery Shores has been on the New York Times' and Travel and Leisure magazine's lists of must-visit resorts in the country, while Bella Rocca was recognized by CNN International as Asia's "hottest New Generation tourist spot."
Clemente, who is also president of Rajah Travel Corp predicts that Filipinos will be traveling more this year as air fares drop and the peso strengthens versus the US dollar. "Filipinos will increase their travels both within [the country] and outbound. There are more LCCs now which makes it relatively cheaper to travel around and out of the country and into more routes than in previous years."
She said traditional destinations such as Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Davao, North Luzon and the Metro areas will still get bulk of the visitors this year. She attributed this to the better infrastructure in these areas.
"But there are other locales that are aggressive in tourism such as Legaspi, Marinduque, Aurora, Camarines Sur," she added.
In terms of outbound tourism, she said Filipinos will likely travel more to locations that are within reach in three hours. "As always, anything within a three-hour flight will experience growth in travel. Having said this, Japan is offering good deals at the moment as well."
Asked about exciting new destinations to be offered during the travel fair, she said it was difficult to identify any one location but mentioned Hokkaido as one of those usually overlooked by frequent visitors to Japan who usually go to Osaka, Narita and Nagoya.
"Also, India is a newly-launched route for PAL so we're trying to intensify the promotion for that," she added, even as both Indian and Philippine governments were working to ease the visa procedures in both countries.
Clemente also noted the destinations such as Legoland in Malaysia, as well as activities like "river cruising" in Europe and in Asia, as travel possibilities for Filipinos.
The annual Travel Tour Expo of the PTAA was conceptualized in 1994 to showcase the products and services of its members. Since then it has grown to be the ultimate destination for the most affordable travel deals and the prime marketplace for all destinations.
The expo is open to the public from 10 am to 9 pm on February 17 and 18, and from 10 am to 7 pm on February 19. A minimal entrance fee of P50 is charged regular visitors while senior citizens get a discounted rate of P20.
InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS