PTTA and 31st Travel Tour Expo (TTE) 2024 officers discusss what's in store for travelers in the upcoming travel expo on Feb. 2-4, 2024 at SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

Travel trade expo at SMX kicks off year of travel for Filipinos

PTTA and 31st Travel Tour Expo (TTE) 2024 officers discusss what’s in store for travelers in the upcoming travel expo on Feb. 2-4, 2024 at SMX Convention Center Manila, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

The signs are clear, it is the year of travel for Filipinos.

This was pronounced by travel professionals and experts who have observed a surge in purchases of goods and services related to travel in the past six months, cutting across all age and income consumer groups.

Evangeline Tankiang-Manotok, president of the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA), said this trend is most welcome as Filipinos look forward to exploring the globe once again after being restricted for about three years due to COVID-19.

The enthusiasm for travel and to see different places once again is making for a bouyant travel industry, and we at PTAA are very much ready to cater to the demand,” says Tankiang-Manotok.

In response, the 550-member strong PTAA is bringing back the 31st Travel Tour Expo (TTE) and the 9th International Travel Trade Expo 2024 set on Feb. 2 to 4, 2024 at the SMX Convention Center Manila, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, featuring a massive number of enticing travel deals, exclusive discounts, and destination packages to provide travelers cost-effective options to fit various budgets and preferences.

We are pooling together our expertise under one roof to provide Filipino travelers with the best advice and make them realize that there are so many options for them. PTAA’s collective wisdom and many years of experience make this possible,” says Tankiang-Manotok.

TTE 2024 will be a marketplace for travel deal seekers as it hosts more than 200 exhibitors with 702 booths that include airlines, domestic and international travel agencies and tour operators, hotels and resorts, cruise liners and shipping, merchandisers, and more.

TTE organizers are also maximizing new technologies that are changing the landscape of travel and combining them with the personal assistance and expertise of PTAA members-exhibitors.

There are some challenges associated with the rise of the online platform. The overall impact on the travel industry is overwhelmingly positive. So digital platforms have made travel more accessible, convenient, and personalized, contributing to the industry’s overall growth and evolution. But at TTE, you get to speak to a travel agent who would provide you a more thorough understanding of the offers compared to what is being promoted online,” says Dominic Castillejos of Batanes Travel and Tours.

The Philippines is a haven for tourists. The record number of five million international tourist arrivals in 2023 is a testament to it. “Our beaches are the best. Also, our hospitality is one of the qualities that foreigners truly enjoy,” adds Tankiang-Manotok.

Boracay, Bohol, Palawan, and Siargao are favorites among local tourists. “These are places that are on their bucket list. Batanes is slowly becoming a favorite as well. Before they go abroad they want to visit places that they have never been in the country,” says Castillejos.

For international travel, among favorites listed by first-time local travelers are Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore, according to Castillejos. High-end travelers, meanwhile, opt for places in Europe, he said.

TTE 2024 is sponsored by Tourism Promotions Board, Union Bank of the Philippines, Philippine Airlines, AirSwift Transport Inc., TIEZA, PLDT, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Megaworld Hotels and Resorts, Cebu Pacific, Millennial Resorts, The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, Foreign Post, Travel Update, and Exhibits Today.