CEBU, 6 February 2017: Philippines Department of Tourism is encouraging tourism players to study competitive products and join “familiarisation exchanges” after PAL introduced new domestic services.
The department’s office that covers central Visayas, central Luzon said the fam trip project would help the industry promote itself better in the market and be more creative.
“You can’t sell what you don’t know,” regional director Catalino Butch Chan III of the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DoT-7) said claiming the “familiarisation exchanges” between Central Visayas and Central Luzon tourism stakeholders would boost tourism.
The “familiarisation exchanges” will help stakeholders create new activities and even encourage additional domestic routes between two regions.
Following PAL’s new services, more airlines will fly to the region, but Chan believes it is the responsibility of the travel industry in both Visavas and Luzon to support them with improved travel packages.
Chan’s familiarisation exchanges plan was made after Philippine Airlines (PAL) inaugurated, last Monday, its four weekly flight from Cebu to Clark in Pampanga.
Airline officials noted that this would strengthen the link between Cebu and Clark in terms of tourism, education, and trade.
It was also seen to make Central and Northern Luzon more accessible to those coming from the south through Cebu, making it easier to access Baguio, Vigan, or even Pagudpud.
“Our research shows that there really is a need to open more direct flights to the north so that tourists will no longer transit to Manila,” said Chan.
Central Luzon, or Region 3, is composed of the provinces of Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, and Bataan. It includes two Freeport zones: Clark and Subic.
While Cebu is known for its beaches as well as emerging eco-tourism and adventure spots, Clark and its surrounding localities have their share of mountains, hot springs, theme parks, golf courses, hotels and casonos.
He said that Central Visayas stakeholders will get to visit Clark first, in time for freeport zone’s famous annual Hot Air Balloon festival which is set to happen 9 to 12 February.
Now on its 21st year, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) is a gathering of aviators from the Philippines and the world.
Approximately 100,000 locals and tourists attend the annual event.
(Source: Department of Tourism, Philippines)