Tour groups to lure Cebuano travel bugs to visa-free countries

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita January 24,2018 - 09:46 PM

Alice Queblatin

Local tour operators in Cebu are pushing for more Cebuanos to avail of tour packages to countries like Thailand, Singapore and Japan, which are also getting aggressive in the Philippine market.

In fact, tourism organizations from these three countries will be present in the Cebu Travel Catalogue International (CTCI) 2018, the very first big travel show for the year to be held in Cebu, which starts tomorrow, January 26, until January 28 at the Ayala Center Cebu.

“Aside from local suppliers, we also have international tourism bureaus present — Japan, Thailand and Singapore. The presence of these three international tourism bureaus means they are being aggressive in promoting their area as the Philippine market has increased towards these areas,” said Cookie Chan, secretary of the Cebu Tours and Travel Association (CTTA).

At the same time, she said the CTTA together with the Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (Catos) will also be revealing new destinations during the activity.

No visa, direct flights

The CTCI, which is now on its fourth year, will feature promo airfares to local and international destinations, cruise deals, and tour packages to different parts of the world as well as supplemental travel services like visa processing.

But Chan explained that majority of the tour packages to be pushed during the event will be for international destinations that do not require visas for Filipino travelers, as these offers are more enticing to Filipinos in general, and Cebuanos in particular.

Catos president Alice Queblatin added that aside from destinations with no visas, they are also pushing for tour packages to international destinations which have direct flights in Cebu.

“Cebuanos want to fly in and out directly of Cebu,” she said.

Domestic destinations, too

But while they will be pushing for international tour packages, Queblatin said they will also be cross-selling several domestic destinations to different regions in the Philippines.

Officials from the Department of Tourism in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas, among others will also be present.

“There will be stakeholders coming to sell tour packages to Tacloban, Leyte, Dumaguete, Siquijor, Camiguin. We also have Coron, Boracay, Siargao. All of these destinations that will use Cebu as the jump-off point,” Queblatin said.

We are really taking advantage of the positioning of Cebu now. We are at the crossroads of international travel, with increased flights. We are also a hub of domestic travel, sea travel,” she added.

Around 60 exhibitors have signed up for the event.

Promo fare

According to CTTA president Alan Carvajal, several airlines will be joining the CTCI, bannered by Philippine Airlines (PAL), which is their co-presenter. Other airlines expected in the event are Cathay Pacific, Emirates, EVA Air, Etihad, Silk Air and Air Asia, among others.

PAL Visayas Sales and Services area head Reyani Romero said they will be offering promo fares specifically and especially for the event.

Other international tour packages that will be available during the event will be for countries like South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Dubai, Turkey, Maldives, New Zealand, North and South America, and most of Europe.

Local destinations include El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Batanes, Bohol and Clark, among others.

Aside from airfares and tour packages, also available are room and dining deals and discounts on services from Hennan Resort in Panglao, Bohol; Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa in Palawan; Marco Polo Plaza Cebu and Marco Polo Davao; Bai Hotel; and Golden Prince Hotel and Suites.

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TAGS: Cebuano, groups, tour, Travel

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