The Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) celebrated the new lunar year of the fire rooster during its 1st General Membership Meeting in 2017, held at Pan Pacific Hotel last 15 February 2017. Talks and presentations centered on the theme Let’s “Tik Talk Tila-ok” Philippine Tourism 2017 with invited speakers and resource persons from the Department of Tourism and its attached agencies.
With the orientation towards progress, each one presented the “Giri of the” of their offices in achieving a sustainable and inclusive Philippine tourism. “Giri”, a word, most commonly associated with the way a Rooster struts around but could also refer to “pasikat” or “pakitang gilas.” In other words, “diskarte”.
The crowd started to swell as early as 09:00 in the morning at the newly renovated meeting room floor of Pan Pacific Hotel. Free flowing tea and coffee matched with pastries were served. Early bird registrants were handed out with the traditional “lucky charm” for Good Luck. Table top precentors; Tugawe Cove Resort, City Garden Hotel Makati, Siglo Suites, The Orient Beach Boracay , Vitoria Court Panorama Pasig, Best Western Plus the Ivy Wall Hotel, Food Holidays of Jeepney Tours and Madrid Fusion Manila were immediately swarmed in by participants eager to get their latest update.
After the Invocation and the singing of the National Anthem, formal program started with the traditional ice breaker or “Getting to Know You”. Guided by the lunar zodiac table flashed on the screen, each one shared their year of birth zodiac signs starting off with hosts of the program, Mr. Fernando Bernales and Ms. KC Barbon of the sales office of Pan Pacific. To most, it was realization that one may have the same zodiac sign but not necessarily of the same age. The Chinese zodiac signs run in a cycle of 12 years.
Ms. Jane Perez, Director of Sales and Marketing of Pan Pacific welcome the participants followed by the induction of the new members of PHILTOA family. Eight new regular members: Asia Gateway Travel; Bonjour Travel and Tours ; Oceanas Holidays Travel and Tours Co.; Oh My Summer Travel & Tours; Pals Wonderland Travel and Tours; A&B Tourepubliq Travel and Tours Company; Herald Travel & Tours; Seven Continents Travel and Tours and 6 new allied members: Best Western Plus (Dli-Best Western Plus The Ivywall Hotel); The Orient Beach Boracay; Tugawe Cove Resort; City Garden Hotel Makati; Siglo Suites amd Victoria Court Panorama Pasig were inducted.
The next part of the program “Ang Tilaok ng Tandang sa Year of the Rooster,” was presented by Feng Shui Expert, Mr. Tony Suvega who expounded on the two elements associated with tourism industry which are water and metal.
He was followed by Chief Operating Officer of Duty Free Philippines, Mr. Vicente “Vico” Pelagio Angala with “Ang Giri ng Duty Free Philippines,” presenting the new Fiesta Mall Duty Free Philippines located at the Entertainment City set to open in April this year.
“Giri” of the Philippine Retirement Authority for 2017, was presented by its Marketing Head, Dr. Valentino G. Baac, presenting the different visa options of the prospective retirees in the Philippines.
TPB’s Division Chief and Officer-in-Charge of Domestic Tourism Promotions, Ms. Susan del Mundo updated the membership with her “Giri” of the Tourism Promotions Board for 2017” presentation including the calendar of local and international trade shows.
Ms. Verna Buensuceso, DOT’s Market Development Group Director for Russia, India, the Middle East and Europe presented another big event happening in the country, the Madrid Fusion Manila which will be held on April 06 to 08 this year. After feasting our eyes on the beautiful ladies from all over the world during the recently held Ms. Universe Beauty Pageant, let us now feast our palate with cuisines prepared by international chefs. The exhibition at the SMX Convention Center is fiesta of local and international cuisines.
The Guest of honor, Undersecretary of the Department of Tourism for Tourism Development Planning, Undersecretary Benito “Bong” Bengzon, Jr. keynoted the event with his Let’s TIK TALK TAK Philippine Tourism in 2017 and beyond where he presented the accomplishment of the department in achieving the 5.5 million tourist arrivals at the end of 2016. The department failed to hit the 6 million tourists but was able to reach beyond the targeted Tourism receipts.
As expected, a well prepared buffet lunch was served by Pan Pacific Hotel . A surprise number by the hotel’s Butler Choir with their rendition of Seasons of Love and classical love songs surely entertained not only the baby boomers but even the millennials in the audience.
Immediately after lunch, town hall meeting was opened which was actively participated in by the members. Problem on seamless traveling within Metro Manila due to estrictions imposed by privately developed business centers was raised.
To end the program, Mr. Cesar Cruz, president of PHILTOA and Chairman of the 28th Philippine Travel Mart launched the new marketing video of 28th PTM and its theme, “50 shades of Fun at Visit ASEAN @ 50″ together with the Islands Philippines Fun Caravan Schedules for 2017.