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Filipinos urged to travel despite security concerns

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero January 22,2016 - 12:19 AM
Members of the Cebu Tours and Travel Association discuss the Cebu Travel Catalogue during a press briefing. From left are Cookie Chan; Marilou Ordonez; Joan Tiu; Angelita Dy; Aida Uy and Shiela Colmenares. (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

Members of the Cebu Tours and Travel Association discuss the Cebu Travel Catalogue during a press briefing. From left are Cookie Chan; Marilou Ordonez; Joan Tiu; Angelita Dy; Aida Uy and Shiela Colmenares. (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

Travel agencies hope to convince people to travel more despite security concerns by offering tour packages at special rates during the three-day Cebu Travel Catalogue 2016.

Some 52 exhibitors, including 23 travel agencies based in Cebu and eight airlines, will offer their products and services from January 29 to 31 at the Ayala Center Cebu.

“With the travel catalogue we have special rates from airlines, so we can make cheaper packages for everybody because summer is coming. Everybody is travel conscious,” said Baby C. Dy, president of the Cebu Tours and Travel Association (CTTA) and vice president of Grand Hope Travel, Inc.

CTTA organizes the annual event, which is now on its second year.

Joan Tiu, manager of Wander Lanes Travel Co., Inc., said most of their clients worry about security.

“What has affected them (travelers) actually are the ISIS events. Those destinations which used to be really popular have waned a little, but people say that they (ISIS attacks) can happen anywhere,” she said.

Tiu said staying indoors due to fear of terrorist attacks will only allow the terrorists to “win.”

“By going out there and exploring and experiencing travel and exploring what it is to have a different culture and have a different experience is still the best education for an adult or child,” Tiu said.

The board members of CTTA yesterday urged the public to take advantage of the reduced prices and the deals being offered by the various travel and tour agencies.

The three-day event will be showcasing special rates for tour packages and airfare promos not only for local destinations, but also for several international destinations.

Dy said among the newer destinations to be advertised by the association during the event is a direct Cebu-to-Taipei package to be serviced by two airlines: Eva Air and Emirates Airway.

To kickstart the airlines’ entry into Cebu, Eva Air will be offering decreased rates for Taipei for March 27, 29 and 30.

CTTA’s partner agencies abroad are also offering discounted tour packages to complement the packages being offered in the Philippines. Cruise packages for Asia, Europe, United States will also be offered.

Among the more popular destinations this year are Japan for international travels, and Bacolod, Palawan and El Nido for local travels.

“I think people really love Japan because it is very nice and offers visa for 3-5 years,” Dy said.

With the 3-day event, an all-expenses paid, 7-day stay in Osaka and Nagasaki Japan would cost around $2,000 per person. In Philippine peso, this amounts to less than P100,000, and includes airfare, accommodations fare, tour package and food.

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