By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, Feb. 14 (PNA) — Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) president John Paul Cabalza said Friday that over 8,000 visitors are expected to attend the 2014 Travel Tour Expo, the biggest exhibition ever mounted in the country.
The 2014 Travel Tour Expo, with houses over 240 exhibitors, kicked off at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City Friday and will run until Sunday (Feb. 16).
It is an event that allows visitors to avail of discounts in travel destinations — from airlines, hotels and resorts and cruise lines.
“This is a testament to the fact that the Filipino is an intrinsic explorer and is willing to visit all corners of the world, especially his own country,” Cabalza said in his opening remark.
“Last year alone, we received over 70,000 guests in these halls, all looking to travel and see the world. This year, we expect to exceed that number,” he added.
Cabalza said that this year, the expo offers more destinations, hotels, resorts, airlines and other travel- related suppliers.
“In 2012, tourism contributed over US$ 4 million in tourist receipts to the Philippines, according to the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) which tells us how our country has become a viable destination in the international market,” he said.
“With the PTAA’s continuing partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the support of the national government, we have no doubt that this upward trend will continue in the years ahead,” he added.
The PTAA president noted that Filipinos have also been seen as vigorous travellers around the world and the Philippines even appears as among the top 10 markets in visitor arrivals for some countries.
“Indeed, tourism and travel has become not only a lifestyle but a way of life of the Filipinos,” he said.
The 2014 Travel Tour Expo is sponsored jointly by the DOT, Philippine Airlines and Citibank, among others.
This year, it occupies Halls 1 to 4 at the SMX ground floor area and Function Room 5 at the upper floor.
Visitors can join the expo by paying the P50 regular entrance fee. Admission fee for senior citizens is P20. (PNA)