Just in time for the initial wave of the summer, around 45 travel agents and tour operators coming from different parts of the Philippines will conduct a familiarization tour in Catanduanes on April 7-10, 2017.
The tour operators are members of the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA), a national association of outbound travel agencies and inbound tour operators, founded in 1980 and now has 600 members.
Aimed at uniting the travel industry and promoting the welfare of its members and the travelling public,
the PTAA is also recognized by international airlines, hotels and resorts, insurance and cruise companies, while working closely with government agencies.
Catanduanes, dubbed as the “Happy Island,” is one of the areas included in 2017 edition of PPTA’s annual familiarization tour as the island province has gained attention as an emerging tourist haven both for local and foreign visitors. For the past years, newly-discovered tourism sites have been earning national exposure through social media sites and travel shows.
The group will visit local tourist attractions such as Binurong and Balacay Points, Puraran Beach, Nahulugan Falls, and PAGASA Doppler Radar in Baras; the Century Old Church of Bato; Cagnipa Rolling Hills, Tuwad-Tuwadan Lagoon, and Delicia’s Farm in Pandan; as well as famous beaches in Virac. They will also experience island hopping in Caramoan, Camarines Sur.
Familiarization Tour, according to PTTA, is one of the ways to achieve high-standard marketing and promotion of domestic tour packages among its members.
“Due to the exposure that Catanduanes is getting, people are now starting to get curious and thrilled to experience off-the-beaten-path tourist attractions and adventures, as well as the ‘Happy Island’ tagline that the province brandishes,” Tourism Officer Carmel Bonifacio-Garcia said.
“It is also an opportunity for the island to be included in tour packages promoted at travel expositions held here in the country and abroad, bringing an influx of more tourists and generating jobs to our fellow Catandunganons,” she added.
The provincial government thru the Provincial Tourism Office, and municipal government units of Baras, Virac, and Pandan will serve as hosts of the group. Local tour operators and other tourism stakeholders will also be invited on business meetings to forge partnerships and networks.