Booking your next holiday getaway has become even more affordable at the ongoing 31st Travel Tour Expo 2024 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
From airfares to hotel accommodations to tour and cruise packages, budget-friendly deals offered by some 800 exhibitors await prospective travelers at the venue.
Travel Tours Expo Chairman Patricia Chiong said airfares are as low as they can get.
“Halimbawa, Manila—Davao—Manila ang lowest rate is P1,500. Taipei siguro sa mga special deals nila as low as P5,000. Gan’un ka attractive,” Chiong said.
(For example, the lowest rate for Manila—Davao—Manila air travel is P1,500. For Taipei, the special deals are priced as low as P5,000. They’re that attractive.)
The offers are customizable depending on the budget and needs of clients.
“Whatever budget you have, we have them for you,” Chiong said.
Some exhibitors have put the spotlight on the chance to travel to South Korea without the need for a visa. Kane Hui of Luxury Vacation said the company has packages for Filipino travelers who would want to visit, for example, Jeju Island, the largest tourist destination in South Korea.
“Wala lang masyado nakakaalam at nakakapunta kasi wala tayong direct flight, but now we have chartered direct flight to Jeju Island na. Siyempre hindi mawawala Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan,” he said.
(Not too many people know about it and visit Jeju Island because we don’t have a direct flight. But now we have chartered a direct flight to Jeju Island. Of course, we also have other deals for places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan.)
To further strengthen local tourism, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco said efforts are also being exerted to promote lesser-known tourist destinations in the country.
“This has taken us all over the country including various provinces in Davao; pumunta rin po tayo sa Calabarzon (we also went to Calabarzon). Of course, [this is] including Bicol, Albay, Sorsogon. And we’ve also visited Western Visayas, including Iloilo, as well as Negros Occidental, Bacolod,” Frasco said.
The DOT’s efforts include the improvement of facilities available to travelers, such as the building of tourism rest areas with clean and comfortable restrooms.
“Gumawa na tayo ng tourism rest areas all over the Philippines. We have managed to inaugurate seven and three more will be inaugurated and we are building 20 more sa Pilipinas,” Frasco said.
(We have constructed tourism rest areas all over the Philippines. We have managed to inaugurate seven and three more will be inaugurated and we are building 20 more in the Philippines.)
The travel expo is ongoing until Feb. 4, Sunday.
The Tourism department recently announced that 5.45 million international tourist arrivals were recorded in the Philippines in 2023, exceeding its target by some 650,000 visits.
Of the 2023 arrivals, 91.80 percent or 5,003,475 are foreigners while the remaining are 447,082 overseas Filipinos.
More than 25% or 1,439,336 of the arrivals came from South Korea, which held its spot as the Philippines’ main source of international visitors. — VDV, GMA Integrated News