Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco with the Philtoa Board of Trustees.

Philtoa affirms ‘Love the Philippines’ at membership meeting

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco (CENTER) with the Philtoa Board of Trustees.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco lauded the Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) for its inclusive tourism development thrust during its recent 4th General Membership Meeting (GMM) held at Crimson Hotel in Muntinlupa City.

“We recognize that there are emerging tourist destinations that, if given the right assistance, attention, development, and promotion, have the potential to become tourist magnets. I am very grateful to Philtoa, because their focus has not only been on world-famous destinations, but to emerging ones,” said Frasco, the event’s keynote speaker.

The tourism chief said that this is reflective of true shared tourism governance, where the private sector mobilizes the industry to collaborate with the government to ensure inclusive tourism development.

“To love the Philippines is to understand what we can do to introduce difficult but helpful solutions or programs that have never been done before, but are being implemented now in response to global tourism trends. To love the Philippines is to localize this love in your specific destinations,” she added.

Bacolod City Mayor Albie Benitez addresses the attendess at the Philtoa general membership meeting.

Meanwhile, Philtoa president Fe Abling-Yu also announced the 34th Philippine Travel Mart (PTM) set on Sept. 1-3 at the SMX Convention Center Manila in Pasay City. The largest annual travel fair will bring together some 200 exhibitors nationwide comprising of hotels, resorts, travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, and tourist establishments which will be offering various discounts for on-the spot bookings.

“We are grateful for the strong partnerships with the DOT, Tourism Promotions Board, Philippine Airlines, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and our media partners. The PTM is not only a showcase of our country’s incredible destinations but also a celebration of our industry’s resilience and strength as a major contributor to the country’s growth and progress,” she said.

Moreover, the general meeting also put the spotlight on Bacolod City, a growing “supercity” which is inviting local and international travelers to explore its tourism developments – from infrastructure to food, art, culture, and heritage.

Guest of honor Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez gave guests a glimpse of Bacolod’s exciting offers, including the 10,000-person Bacolod Convention Center the city is building in line with its meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) initiatives.

He cited the upcoming Bacolod Masskara Museum and Trade Center, Orange Project, the city’s biggest art gallery for education and entertainment, and countless food destinations which offer local delicacies.

He also noted that this year’s Masskara Festival, one of the country’s most-awaited festivals, will be a grand three-week celebration, which includes “Masskara-lympics,” sporting events, “Masskara Namit,” which will showcase Bacolod as home of the country’s largest rum product, and the most-awaited Electric Masskara street parade.

Masskara Festival dancers from the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU).

Philtoa also inducted into the group new members composed of 15 tour operators, 10 hotel and resort properties, and one immigration services agency, bringing its membership to over 500.

The new tour operator members are Big Golden Furby International Travel and Tours, BNG Travel and Tours Services, ETravel Zone, ETravelPH Events Management Services, Festive Travel and Tours Services, Godspeed Travel and Tours Corp., Group Tours Specialists, Jimwell Travel and Tours, Landsair Tours and Travel Corp., Mariaynah Travel and Tours, MFly Travel and Tours, RIOR Wanders Travel and Tours, Tobi’s Travel & Tour Services, Travel Enterprise Corp., and Walk the Planet.

New inductees in the hotel and resort are Alpha Suites Makati, Ambassador in Paradise Resort Corp., Best Western Plus Metro Clark, City Garden Grand Hotel, Discovery Samal, Holiday Suites, Red Hotel, Richmonde Hotel Iloilo, Sol Y Viento Mountain Hot Spring Resort, and Timberland Highlands Resort.

ACN Southern Immigration and Educational Services is the lone immigration services agency inductee.

Inquirer Plus Free 30 Day Trial