Thursday, January 19, 2006

13th Travel Tour Expo

Hope to see you there! =)
Travel trends to watch out for this year

Find out more about travel on Feb. 10, 11 and 12, as the 13th Travel Tour Expo (TTE), the largest trade and consumer event of the travel industry is slated at the Megatrade Hall in Mandaluyong City.

TTE '06 brings together local and international travel agencies, tour operators, airline and cruise liners, hotels, resorts, theme parks, travel product suppliers, and tourism promotion organizations in a milestone event that is the ultimate one-stop-shop for travelers.

With the theme "Travel Lifestyle: Experience the Difference!" TTE '06 is a venue for over 300 booths providing information and great discounts on tickets, cruises, and tour packages to various domestic and foreign destinations. Product presentations, daily raffle draws, entertainment, games, and surprises await TTE visitors. Visitor rates are at R50/day for general admission and R20/day for senior citizens.

TTE 2006 is organized by the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) as part of their 25th anniversary celebration, in cooperation with the Department of Tourism (DoT) and Philippine Airlines (PAL), and sponsored by Air Philippines and Galileo International.

"The appeal of travel is universal — an exotic destination and a chance to escape the daily grind often prove irresistible, even becoming a way of life for many people this past decade," said PTAA president Marciano Ragaza.

He added, "Perhaps it is our exposure, through media, to the outside world. Or because the world has gotten smaller because of more flights and other alternative modes of transportation. Or maybe because people have become just plain curious to see the world outside of their own.

Whether it's a luxurious week-long jaunt in a foreign country or a short drive for a change of scenery, travel remains to be a popular activity among friends, families, and even in the workplace.

Local destinations, for instance, are constantly being developed and discovered to serve the needs of travelers. While Boracay's white sands and vivacious nightlife, Cebu's innate charm and Tagaytay's ideal location and cool weather continue to lord it over the local sites, new attractions are being given attention.

The DoT's other top tourist choices include: Laoag and Vigan, most accessible to tourists from Mainland China; the investment havens Subic and Clark (where flights to and from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur can be taken at incredibly low prices); Southern Tagalog's hot springs, beaches and spas (distributed throughout Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, and Quezon); Palawan and Puerto Galera for diving. DoT also lists Antipolo, Donsol (Sorsogon), Iloilo, Bacolod, Bohol, Siargao, Camiguin, and Davao.

Among destinations abroad, "Singapore, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur are frequented because of low-cost carriers. So are Los Angeles and San Francisco," Ragaza said.

Religious pilgrimages and cultural tours across various points of Europe (France, Italy, Spain, and Germany) also make the list.

Malls, spas, lounges, hotels, restaurants – all these can now be found in well-developed airports. State-of-the-art technology such as wi-fi for the business traveler are also available. While the Internet has caused some business travelers to conduct dealings on-line to cut back on expenses, it has also opened up more possibilities for travelers. It allows travelers access to information on destinations, lodgings, and flight schedules. Electronic ticketing (ticketless travel), bookings and other travel transactions can also be done over the Internet.

The RORO (Roll-on-Roll-off) services are emerging as an alternative mode of travel. The network of ferry terminals and vessels provides faster, more efficient travel, and boosts inter-island commerce, trade, domestic tourism and investment opportunities.

The rise of low-cost carriers has also opened up frequent travel to neighboring Asian countries. But low-cost carriers may cause local tourism to slacken, however, as it is now cheaper to fly abroad than domestic, and foreign travel has always been a status symbol for Filipinos.

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