MANILA – The Philippine Travel Mart (PTM), one of the country's longest-running travel exhibitions, will hold its 2022 edition starting Sept. 30.
The expo, which will run until Oct. 2 at SMX Convention Center, will feature more than 200 exhibitors and promises accommodation, flights, as well as, domestic and international travel packages at discounted prices.
"We've been waiting for a long time and now is the perfect time to travel again, support local businesses, and explore the Philippines and beyond," Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) president Fe Abling-Yu said.
Abling-Yu said the expo this year is targeted to match the PTM held prior to the pandemic. The expo had been staged for the last two years but exhibitors only reached over 50 both in 2020 and 2021.
"Pre-pandemic we had over 200 exhibitors then so parang nandoon na kami sa level na 'yon ngayon exhibitors (So we are a bit close to the pre-pandemic level now)," Abling-Yu said.
The expo's layout features designated zones for various tourism products such as sun and beach, marine sports, cruise; health, wellness, culinary; cultural, farm tourism; entertainment and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE).
Also included in this year's PTM offers are tour packages in Bali, Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh as well as Japan, Malaysia, and South Korea.
Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, on the sidelines of the PTM launch, said the Philippines could compete with Southeast Asian neighbors and leading tourist destinations in the region.
"If you put our country side by side with our main competitors in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, our offerings are almost the same if not better. In that, we have beaches, natural resources, beautiful people, beautiful products, various destinations," she said.
To further position the country as a top tourist destination, she told stakeholders that the DOT would introduce programs to improve the overall tourist experience in the country.
Aligned with the PTM's 2022 theme "Safe Travels," Frasco also assured travelers that she personally instructed concerned offices to ensure that tourist sites in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are "safe and well-equipped to receive guests".
"We will also provide a convenient and better tourism experience for both foreign and domestic travelers through standardized travel protocols," she said.
"We have reached out to the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government), the Bureau of Immigration, and the Bureau of Quarantine to ensure that our entry protocols are reasonable, are consistent throughout the country, and will encourage, not dissuade, tourists from coming to the Philippines and going from place to place across our country," she added. (PNA)