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Philtoa

About us

The Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA), Inc. is an organization of tour operators and allied members actively involved in the advocacy of responsible tourism. Founded on 12 June 1986, non-stock and non-profit organization. The membership includes travel agencies, hotels, resorts, transportation companies, handicraft stores, and other tourism-oriented establishments and association.

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Philtoa

Our Goal

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  • Encourage and foster nationwide extensions;
  • To pursue an active role in product development (emerging Destinations);
  • To strive for international recognition and affiliations;
  • Upgrade industry knowledge through education /workshop;
  • Conduct national information campaign on relevant issues;
  • Develop active members though participation and Involvement in team-building activities;
  • Develop and update database;
  • To revise and amend the By-Laws to conform to the needs of the times.
  • Encourage sales mission;
  • To address needs and concerns of members in a timely manner;
  • Endeavour for financial sustainability
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3rd General Membership Meeting 2024

BIR Training

PHILTOA GOES TO DAVAO

EXPRESSLY BICOL

PHILTOA SHOWCASES BASILAN PROVINCE AS THRIVING TOURISM DESTINATION

GOV’T POSITIONING PH AS ASIA’S NEXT MUSLIM-FRIENDLY DESTINATION

34TH PHILIPPINE TRAVEL MART

Investors ‘confident’ in PH hospitality growth

INVESTORS are positive about the medium- and long-term growth outlook of the Philippine hospitality sector, a new report showed.

In the 2024 Philippine Hotel Investment Outlook Survey, 89 percent of the respondents, comprising hotel owners and operators in the Philippines, said they have a “positive outlook” about the overall hospitality industry for the next one to three years.

Confidence was even more robust for the long term, with 95 percent of respondents believing the industry would thrive beyond the next three years.

“While the pandemic initially halted many hotel developments and the high cost of capital has put others on hold, investors in the Philippines are now ramping up efforts to initiate new hotel projects,” the report read.

This shift, it said, comes as demand rebounds and supply shortages emerge in various destinations across the country.

The survey, conducted by the Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOA) and Leechiu Property Consultants, was released during the 1st Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Forum Summit at the New World Makati Hotel on Friday.

The respondents represent more than 10,000 keys in the industry, spanning properties across major cities and market segments in the country.

Meanwhile, the survey also showed that investors still have “mixed feelings” about the short-term industry prospects due to inflation driving up the costs of transportation, goods and services, all of which impact both tourists and hotels.

“With hotels only beginning to resume full operations in 2023, investors are still working to recover from pandemic-related losses. This period also presents an opportunity for operators to address shifts in guests’ demands and preferences,” the study read.

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UN exec: ‘Love the Philippines’ a powerful tourism tagline

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu— The United Nations (UN) Tourism lauded the country’s powerful slogan “Love the Philippines” that attracts travelers to learn more about Filipino culture and destinations.

“The good thing that I observed here is that, you know we associate with the Philippines ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines.’ I love that catchphrase. But now, I see the ‘Love the Philippines’ is very significant,” UN Tourism Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Harry Hwang said in an interview on the sidelines of the 36th Joint Commission Meeting of the Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the Commission for South Asia (CAP-CSA) here on Friday.

Hwang agreed that the Philippines cannot focus only on the fun aspects of its destinations, given the country’s cultural and historical wealth, and most importantly, its people.

He said Filipinos “know how to welcome the people” and conveyed how he felt after visiting this province.

“It’s very right, the slogan, and only the Philippines can do that because when you say love Korea, love Japan, it doesn’t come up with the association,” he said.

“And now, (with) the Love the Philippines, people understand why you’re saying that. So, I think it’s a very powerful tourism tagline,” he added.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) introduced its slogan “Love the Philippines” last year to emphasize that the country has a lot more to offer beyond fun such as its natural assets, history and rich culture.

Along with the new campaign, the DOT sought to increase travel activities in other regions by helping them develop lesser-known tourism destinations.

Touring Cebu

Hwang, together with the more than 500 foreign and local delegates who attended the back-to-back UN events here this week, joined a technical tour organized by the DOT.

The tour showcased the breathtaking beaches of Camotes Islands; the rich culinary and heritage sites in the towns of Dalaguete and Argao; and the ecotourism spots at Aloguinsan.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said the destinations are a reflection of the island’s efforts to sustain its rich culture and sustainable tourism measures, offering insights on how other regions and even other countries’ can replicate these best practices.

One of the destinations, Aloguinsan, stands as the sole Philippine recipient of the prestigious 2021 UN Tourism World’s Best Tourism Village award, acknowledging its community-based ecotourism efforts focused on the Bojo River in Barangay Bojo.

In Argao and Dalaguete, meanwhile, the DOT drew attention to the well-preserved Spanish-era churches and local cuisine that gives identity to Cebu province.

In an interview, UN Tourism for Asia and the Pacific senior officer Sinyoung An said it is also the Filipino people that made a lasting mark on him during his second visit to Cebu.

“What’s interesting to me here is the Filipino people. The big smiles and your mabuhay (long live) and salamat (thank you) gestures are impressive. I think the best asset for Philippine tourism is its people,” he said, after the Cabecera Tour in Argao on Thursday.

“Regardless of how beautiful nature is or how great historical heritage is, after all, it’s the people that move people’s hearts,” he added. (PNA)

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PHILIPPINES LAUDED FOR “IMPRESSIVE” HOSTING OF INT’L FORUM ON GASTRONOMY TOURISM

CEBU – The Philippines has emerged as an “impressive” host for the United Nations (UN) Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific.
The event has garnered positive remarks from participants and international partners for its remarkable success in promoting Filipino cuisine and culture and showcasing the rich gastronomic heritage of the country.
The event, held in Cebu, Philippines on Wednesday (June 26, 2024) received appreciation from Idoia Calleja, Director of Masters and Courses of the Basque Culinary Center (BCC), “a unique ecosystem where training, innovation, research and entrepreneurship coexist with the aim of developing and promoting gastronomy”.
The BCC creates guidelines on how to develop gastronomy destinations. Located in Donostia – San Sebastian since 2011, it is a pioneering institution made up of the Faculty of Gastronomic Science and BCC Innovation, the Gastronomy Technological Centre.
In a press briefing, Calleja expressed being highly impressed with The Philippines’ hosting of the forum which served as a platform for exchanging ideas, sharing best practices, and promoting gastronomy tourism in the Asia Pacific Region.

“First of all, thank you. I love the performances. This is like a pilot for a two-phase for us. I am very, very impressed. As I was saying, this, mentioned before, is a way to exchange ideas, see best practices, and continue generating strong gastronomy tourism. We have the guidelines that go more concretely to the strategy. And also we are developing another initiative in our use cases to empower gastronomy tourism. So we have the steps and we are developing more and more steps,” said Calleja.
Meanwhile, in the same press conference, Secretary-General of UN Tourism Zurab Pololikashvili shared the challenges faced in organizing worldwide gastronomy forums, of which he also shared the rationale behind the decision to hold the regional forum in the Philippines. He lauded Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco for successfully motivating the UN Tourism Commission to choose the Philippines as the venue for the regional forum.
“We had numerous countries asking to host this Gastronomy Forum. Also, it was very difficult to bring participants from Asia to the Americas. Additionally, we saw a demand for this kind of event and decided to create regional ones. This one is the first. Now, we are organizing across five continents. Why Cebu? Because you have a very active Minister here. It’s clear; we have 160 countries. If you ask why we didn’t do it in Japan, it’s because we did one in Nara two years ago. The Secretary was very patient and knew it was important for her country and the region. She was the perfect candidate. She made an excellent presentation explaining why we should have it here and convinced and motivated us to come. Am I right or not? We had a chance to have dinner in Cambodia, where we enjoyed an excellent Filipino dinner. This is how it works; if other countries want to host the second edition, we are here, and of course, there are criteria. First, there must be a suitable venue and a prepared team. Then, gastronomy must be a priority for the destination country. That’s it. This is how we select the locations for these events,” said Pololikashvili.
“I think we all need to promote Filipino cuisine more. What I saw this afternoon, I’ve never seen Filipino cuisine showcased like this before. I see many opportunities to promote culinary tourism in the Philippines because the best ambassadors are in restaurants and chefs. This is what we’ve seen, and we’ve had many good showcases. We can talk about how gastronomy has made countries attractive and how it has made popular destinations and local dishes different. Thank you, Secretary, and all of you who are working hard to promote your beautiful country. I love Cebu and I love the Philippines,” enthused Pololikashvili.
In a separate message during the opening ceremony, Pololikashvili also broached the possibility of establishing an educational center for gastronomy in the country: “I propose to leave a legacy after these nice days is to create something of an educational center or gastronomy center here in Cebu. After all, education is our top priority.”

To this, Tourism Secretary Frasco responded during the press conference: “If I may Secretary General, allow me now in public to confirm the Philippines’ acceptance of the Tourism Gastronomy Education Academy or Institute. We are certainly very open to any discussions, whether it be funding, curriculum, and the like. We have the support of the national government and importantly as well we have the support of those that will help us in the flourishing of this academy partnership”.

Cebu as forum host
The highlight of the event was the promotion of Filipino cuisine representing all regions of the country.
Secretary-General Pololikashvili expressed his awe at the diversity and uniqueness of Filipino cuisine, stating that he had never seen it presented in such a way anywhere else in the world. He emphasized the niche that Filipino food possesses, with its wide range of flavors, spices, and diversity.
Meanwhile, Secretary Frasco highlighted the half a millennium of history that Cebu holds. She emphasized that Cebu, as the place where the first vestiges of Filipino hospitality, kindness, and food were experienced by foreigners through explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, is the perfect choice for hosting the forum.

“The efforts of our President, Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos, Jr., have been to put the global spotlight on Filipino food, as we feel that it is high time to honor the work and talent of our chefs, as well as all our partners in the tourism value chain, making Filipino food truly an exciting argument to be made as the next best thing in gastronomy tourism. I’m thrilled that United Nations Tourism, through the gracious and visionary leadership of its Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, has honored our country with this opportunity. And what better place to hold it than in Cebu, where the very first vestiges of Filipino hospitality and kindness were experienced by foreigners through the explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. After a long and arduous journey to circumnavigate the world, Magellan was treated to Filipino food in the form of fish, bananas, and palm wine, and a feast of meats which is well-documented in Pigafetta’s book,” said Frasco.
“Cebu has become a gateway for tourism in the Philippines, especially with the Mactan Cebu International Airport previously awarded Asia’s best airport in the under 5 million category and it serves as a MICE destination with a host of convention centers. Most importantly, Cebu is the cradle of Christianity, reflecting our diverse Filipino heritage shaped by generations of Spanish, Chinese, American, and other influences. We view this as a wonderful opportunity to advance our President’s vision for highlighting Philippine gastronomy tourism and collaborating with our fellow member nations in UN Tourism to work towards the full development of gastronomy tourism for the Asia Pacific region, ensuring it is inclusive and sustainable,” concluded the tourism chief.

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PBBM raises prize money for Tourism Champions Challenge winners

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., through the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), approved the grant of an additional P5 million for each winner of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) Tourism Champions Challenge.

“We are doing this because it is a very, very good policy to invest in success. So, make the most of it. Make the Philippines proud. Make the Filipinos proud,” the President said during the Tourism Champions Challenge Awarding Ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on Monday.

“Each winner deserves this additional reward towards building infinite capabilities to make everything better,” Marcos said. “It is also a reaffirmation of my belief that local governments are our indispensable and active partners in national development,” he further stated.

President Marcos assured the sector of the national government’s continued support, as he vowed to build more infrastructure, implement tourism-friendly policies, and arouse interest from global audience.

The Tourism Champions Challenge is a step in the right direction, an activity that elicits creativity that could magnify the magnetism of Philippine tourism industry, he noted.

At the same time, President Marcos told industry players and other stakeholders to highlight, not only the country’s beauty and physical wonderment, but also the warmth, affection, and love “that Filipinos always bring to their relationship.”

“We show the world that we have long been ready to love them back,” he said.

Marcos commended Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, the DOT, and TIEZA for their exemplary work in carrying out the program.

Last year, the Philippines welcomed 5.5 million inbound tourists, a 100 percent jump from the 2022 record. Registering more than 1.2 million tourist arrivals in the first two months of 2024, the DOT has expressed optimism in sustaining the gains it made. The agency targets to welcome 7.7 million inbound tourists this year. PND

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HK Express to mount Clark flights

Hong Kong-based low-cost carrier HK Express is expanding its network in the Philippines with the launch of a new direct service to Clark International Airport.

The route marks the airline’s second destination in the country, following its existing route to Manila.

Announced on the airline’s official Facebook page, the new service will commence on June 6, 2024, offering four weekly flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The route will be operated using HK Express’ Airbus A320 family fleet.

The low-cost airline is offering introductory one-way fares to Hong Kong for as low as PHP 1,100* (HKD 168), for bookings made until April 19, 2024.

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DOT awards winners of Tourism Champions Challenge

Three local government units (LGUs) will each receive P25 million in funding to support their winning proposed projects as part of a challenge initiated by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

In a ceremony held in Pasay City on Monday, DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco announced the 15 winners of the Tourism Champions Challenge (TCC) are:

First Place:

Local Paragliding Airport Terminal (Ambaguio, Nueva Vizcaya)
Volcanic Plug (Tubigon, Bohol)
Lampinigan Jetty Port and Leisure Development Project (Isabela City, Basilan)
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Second Place:

Mangrove Forest Park Development Project (Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro)
Badian Toong Spring Nature Park (Badian, Cebu)
Cultural Peace Hub (Davao City)
Third Place:
Community-based Project in Sikali Island (Bolinao, Pangasinan)
Ridge-to-reef Eco-experience Project (Silago, Southern Leyte)
Mangrove Boardwalk Gallery (Samal, Davao del Norte)

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