Frasco hails first-ever North Luzon Travel Fair as critical to revitalizing tourism

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco (Photo courtesy of Department of Tourism)

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco has hailed the maiden edition of the North Luzon Travel Fair held on 18-20 November 2022 at SMX Convention Center in Clark as critical to the revitalization of Philippine tourism.

“That is why all of our Regional Directors from the entire country are here today. To bring back home the good news that North Luzon is ready for the revitalization of tourism in this part of the country,” said Frasco.

Taking off from the event’s theme “Weaving our Way to Recovery,” Frasco said in her keynote message that the North Luzon Travel Fair was an expansion of the listening tours she initiated upon assuming office.

“A little over three months ago, I visited Clark and touched base with our tourism stakeholders, players from various sectors, including the aviation, hotel, tourism services, tourism operators, travel agencies, and other tourism industry stakeholders. And in this listening tour, our stakeholders enumerated the various challenges they faced in the past few years. Subsequent to that, I spoke to our Regional Directors from North Luzon who echoed the same sentiments, and there they shared their plans to hold a North Luzon Travel Fair. I expressed my unequivocal support but added the requirement that the North Luzon Travel Fair should not only be limited in its exposure to people in North Luzon but to everyone from across the Philippines.”

“Not only will the (fair) give exposure to our local government units, our eco zones, our bases, our hotels, resorts and other accommodations, service agencies and tour operators, but more importantly our Regional Directors will proceed from this travel fair to actually visit the regions of North Luzon to be able to ensure that they, from the central and southern regions of Philippines, would be able to bring the domestic tourists from their side of the country to your side of the country,” said Frasco.

The Tourism chief also shared that the Philippines continues to be a top of mind destination all over the world, hence “in this period of recovery, it is critical for us to ensure that we continue to improve the enabling mechanism of coming to and going around the Philippines.”

Frasco reiterated that tourism remains a top priority of the Marcos administration. “The message of the Department of Tourism, led by our President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., is that tourism is a priority, which intends to leave no regions behind in the development of the industry. Not only will we limit ourselves to the promotions of our sites, but most importantly, we will also ensure the institutional development of the entire industry by introducing changes that address gaps, and by listening to the needs of the stakeholders.”

3.8 million visitors to North Luzon

During the event, Frasco announced that North Luzon had already logged 3.8 million visitors from both domestic and foreign tourists as of 18 November.

“I can see that we are well on our way to recovery because you are well on your way to the 9.6 million arrivals that you had in this side of the country prior to the pandemic,” she added.

“We are grateful to our President Ferdinand “Bonging” Marcos Jr. for laying down the necessary tools to ensure this openness and readiness of the Philippines. He has issued executive orders to the effect of lifting the outdoor and indoor mask mandate,” said Frasco. The relaxed mandate ensures that fully-vaccinated guests are no longer required to undergo RT-PCR tests when coming to the Philippines, with foreigners now allowed in with just a negative anti-gen test.

“The Philippines is open, the Philippines is ready to receive tourists and investments all over the world, and North Luzon is ready to lead the way to light up the Northern Philippines,” declared Frasco.

 

“The Philippines is open, the Philippines is ready to receive tourists and investments all over the world, and North Luzon is ready to lead the way to light up the Northern Philippines,” said Frasco. (Photo courtesy of Department of Tourism)

 

1st North Luzon Travel fair highlights

The North Luzon Travel Fair was made possible with the cooperation of the DOT regional offices in Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon, and in partnership with Alliance of Travel and Tour Agencies of Pampanga. It aimed at creating a one-stop-shop venue for industry collaboration, showcasing the domestic tourism destinations, products, services, delicacies, gifts and pasalubong items, as well as cultural presentations from the northern side of the Philippines.

The three-day event offered discounted packages, air tickets, accommodations, and other tourism-related products; business-to-business sessions that provided an opportunity for tourism stakeholders to experience innovative ways of developing business connections and update local industry partners with the latest tourism offerings; (3) buyer familiarization tours of the North Luzon regions; and (4) the “Hibla ng Lahi” fashion show, which showcased indigenous fabrics from the North Luzon regions as a way to  empower local Filipino traditions, culture, and customs to thrive in the modern market and revive handwoven textiles.

After the travel fair, the TravEx participants will have simultaneous post-event familiarization tours to Ilocos region (Region I), Cagayan Valley (Region II), Central Luzon (Region III), and the Cordillera Administrative Region, extending the benefits of the tourism value chain to the local communities, stakeholders, and destinations of Northern Luzon.

Other participating regions that showcased some of their finest crafts and tourist destinations included DOT National Capital Region, IV-A (CALABARZON), IV-B (MIMAROPA), VI (Western Visayas), Region VII (Central Visayas), VIII (Eastern Visayas), Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN), and XIII (CARAGA).

Other partners in support of the North Luzon Travel Fair included the Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, Subic-Clark Alliance for Development, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Clark Development Corporation, Digital Out-of-Home Philippines, and Philippine Airlines as the event’s partner airline.

The North Luzon Travel Fair was managed by Total Exhibit and Expo Solutions.


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