Sunday, September 13, 2009

Philippine Tourism Boosted at 20th Philippine Travel Mart

Spearheaded by Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA), the biggest association of tour operators and allied members, the 20th Philippine Travel Mart (PTM) was held last September 4-6, 2009 at the MegaTrade Hall of SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

PTM, the premiere and biggest travel, tourism and trade show in the country, has the most extensive coverage of the tourism and travel industry in the Philippines. It has a solid track record of bringing in thousands of local corporate buyers and consumers in a single venue for travel and tourism. It has also carved a niche in the international market as a prime venue for foreign buyers as a must-see, must-be event held in collaboration with the Department of Tourism.

PHILTOA, the main proponent behind the PTM, is the biggest association of tour operators and agencies that promote exclusively domestic and inbound tourism. It has a nationwide membership and has been at the frontier of Domestic tourism promotion, partnering with DOT, and its regional offices.

With “Beyond the Usual… Experience IT Here” as conference/exhibition theme, the main highlight of this year’s PTM was the Grand Vacation Sale ng Bayan, where exhibitors and participants offered beyond the usual, attractive discounts and special offers to consumers during the 3-day event. Reservations for travel and tour, hotel, transport (sea and air) were available to be purchased at lower rates but should be availed of or completed on or before November 15, 2009.

BPI credit card holders were entitled to 12-month instalment term promos inclusive of 3 day-2 night packages, complete with airfare, land transfers, hotel accomodations plus beyond the usual activities.

Aside from individual buyers, programs were also available for small and medium businesses to big corporations. The Corporate Buyers Program offered options for trips, tours and adventures geared towards corporate outings or even as company incentives to its employees.

Eco-tourism is one of the main pillars of this year’s efforts of showcasing beyond the usual in Philippine tourism and encouraging consumers to experience the Philippines in unusual ways. For this year, PTM has partnered with ABS CBN Foundation for their Kapit Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig project in launching another new innovation in Philippine tourism –thru the Pasig river travel cruise. The intent is to promote the Pasig river cruise as a tourism vehicle that ends in Escolta, tying it in with a walking tour of Binondo, cuisines galore from street foods to fine dining and tiangge shopping.

Entrance to the PTM exhibit was Php 50.00, while for senior citizens and students it was only Php 40.00.

An exciting line-up of special crowd-drawing events were conducted to ensure patronage from the different provinces as well as the greater Manila area consumers. Among this year’s events were the traditional Bituin ng Kasuotang Filipino, the traditional Best Cultural Presentation, Tourism Quiz Bee, seminar for students and practitioners in the travel industry entitled Biyahe-info, one-on-one corporate business meeting between sellers and corporate buyers entitled BiyahExhange, and an Eco-Chorale Competition which had two divisions, High School level and College level. A thanksgiving mass was given on the last day of the exhibit, and also the awarding of winners was done on the same day. The theme for the 21st PTM was also unveiled before the last day of the event ended.

The 20th PTM was sponsored by the Department of Tourism, Philippine Tourism Authority, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Philippine Airlines, PAGCOR, CLARK Freeport, Primer Group of Companies, Chase Technologies Corporation, Jeepney Tours, BPI Express Credit, Kapit Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig, ABS-CBN, ABS-CBN Foundation, Manila Bulletin, ANC, Expat Travel & Lifestyle Magazine, Travel Update Philippines, The Foreign Post, Travel Plus, Travelife, Good News Pilipinas!, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Homestyle Magazine, and Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.

For more information on Philippine Travel Mart, contact the Philippine Tour Operators Association at, or visit the event website at


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