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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

THE PHILIPPINES VIES FOR 7 WARDS AS ASIA’S BEST FOR THE 2024 WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS

Manila, Philippines—The Philippines continues to be recognized as one of Asia’s best country destinations for tourism as it competes for at least seven accolades at the World Travel Awards (WTA) 2024.

This year, the country is nominated as Asia’s Leading Beach Destination, Asia’s Leading Dive Destination, and Asia’s Leading Island Destination. The historic Walled City of Intramuros is nominated again as Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction, while Boracay is nominated as Asia’s Leading Luxury Island Destination, and Cebu as Asia’s Leading Wedding Destination.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is nominated again as Asia’s Leading Tourist Board.

“These nominations underscore the dedicated efforts of the Department of Tourism since the inception of the Marcos Administration. We express gratitude to WTA for providing The Philippines a platform to continuously showcase our diverse tourism offerings not only within Asia but on the global stage, but most importantly, we express our thanks to our tourism stakeholders who continue to safeguard the myriad of tourism gems in the Philippines for all the world to love and enjoy,” stated Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco.

“While winning these accolades adds prestige to our endeavors, they also translate into livelihood opportunities for millions of Filipinos whose well-being depends on tourism. We aim to maintain and surpass the strides we’ve made since taking office, ensuring sustained growth in the country’s tourism sector,” she emphasized.

Secretary Frasco noted that 2023 has been a banner year for The Philippines with the country clinching the World’s Leading Dive Destination for the fifth year since 2019. Last year, the Philippine capital, Manila, earned the accolade as the World’s Leading City Destination.

A Global Tourism Resilience award was also bagged by the country last year, a significant award about the “global leadership, pioneering vision, and innovation to overcome critical challenges and adversity,” and by other four countries who became recipients of the inaugural award from the WTA. It said that the awardees will serve as benchmarks for best practices in tourism resilience.

The Philippines was also named the Destination of the Year by online travel platform TripZilla as well as Asia’s Best Cruise Destination by the WTA.

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Jetstar to revive direct flights between Singapore and Clark in June

Singapore-based Jetstar Asia said Thursday it will revive direct flights between Singapore and Clark starting June 16 this year.

Jetstar Asia chief executive John Simeone said the move reinforced Jetstar Asia’s commitment to expanding their Southeast Asian network and providing enhanced connectivity and a wide range of travel options for its customers.

“Our services to Clark are backed by popular demand, not only for holiday makers but those wanting to visit family and friends,” Simeone said.

“We’re excited to add this popular destination, responding to demand, providing our customers with more incredible low-cost travel options and supporting the travel and tourism industries in these two critical markets,” he said.

Jetstar Asia will offer four weekly return services between Singapore and Clark in June, increasing to five weekly services starting Oct. 18, 2024.

The route will use Jetstar Asia’s growing fleet of Airbus A320s and supported by its significant recruitment drive aimed at meeting the growing demand for travel within the region.

Noel Manankil, president and chief executive of Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. (LIPAD), manager and operator of Clark International Airport, said that they are delighted to welcome Jetstar flights back at Clark International Airport (CRK).

“Clark Airport has always been a home to Jetstar and we are happy to serve their passengers again. This partnership provides passengers the opportunity to experience a seamless and memorable airport journey,” Manankil said.

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Mabuhay! SEA Welcomes Announcement of Nonstop Service to Manila on Philippine Airlines

The Port of Seattle welcomes Philippine Airlines’ announcement of upcoming nonstop service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Manila, Philippines. Starting in October, SEA passengers will have three flight options per week to travel directly to the archipelagic nation.

“Washington state is home to the country’s fourth-largest Filipino population. For over 100 years, Filipinos have contributed to the region’s arts, business, and political leadership,” said Port of Seattle Commission Vice President Toshiko Hasegawa. “Nonstop service to Manila has long been one of our most frequently requested routes, and we’re thrilled that this new flight will not only serve the Puget Sound’s Filipino community but anyone who is interested in exploring the rich history, beauty, and hospitality of the Philippines.”

Manila is this region’s largest unserved international market, and the nonstop flight on Philippine Airlines — also known as PAL — will serve the tens of thousands of travelers who journey to the Philippines each year, whether it’s to visit friends and relatives or to explore the country’s growing tourism scene.

“We’ve been looking forward to this announcement for some time and are excited to welcome Philippine Airlines to our region,” said Lance Lyttle, Managing Director of the Port’s Aviation Division. “This new direct route will offer valuable economic impact to our region and open up opportunities for outbound travelers visiting the Philippines and beyond, including Seattle’s Sister City, Cebu, Philippines. It will also serve as an important connector between our two communities for business and leisure travel.”

“Philippine Airlines is happy to say, ‘Mabuhay, Seattle!’ We are proud to welcome Seattle to our growing U.S. route network,” said PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Captain Stanley K. Ng. “Our Manila – Seattle – Manila flights give us a valuable opportunity to promote our beautiful island country as a flourishing tourist and business destination for American travelers. We also look forward to serving Filipinos who hope to reunite with family members or experience new travel adventures in the vibrant U.S. Pacific Northwest.”

SEA is PAL’s eighth North American destination. Passengers traveling to MNL on the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft can also connect to PAL’s regional network, including cities like Cebu, Davao, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur. For more information, read PAL’s latest announcement.

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Sunlight Air transfers hub to Clark from NAIA

CLARK — Boutique carrier Sunlight Air has transferred its hub from Manila to Clark with its inaugural flight out of Clark International Airport launched on Monday, April 1.

Sunlight Air CEO Ryna Brito-Garcia said they will operate Clark flights to/from Coron and San Vicente in Palawan, as well as Siargao and Caticlan-Boracay. She said Clark International Airport is a better option as passengers can feel more comfortable at the new terminal.

At the same time, she said there is a whole new potential customers with millions living in Central Luzon.

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DOT CHAMPIONS GENDER EQUALITY WITH SUCCESFUL HOSTING OF INAUGURAL PATA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON WOMEN IN TRAVEL

The Department of Tourism on Thursday (Mar. 21) extended its full support to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) International Conference on Women in Travel, as the three-day conference successfully opened in the captivating tourist destination of Bohol.

Delivering her keynote message at the preeminent event, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco welcomed hundreds of speakers and delegates from the Philippines and all over the world, including Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“I would like to express my profound gratitude to PATA for its partnership with the Philippines in the inaugural holding of the International Conference on Women in Travel. Holding this conference in the Philippines is timely, especially here where over 50 percent of the workforce of our country is composed of women, and here in our region in the Asia Pacific, where nearly 50 percent of the tourism industry is composed of women. We recognize the importance of this conference focusing on empowering women, tourism professionals, promoting gender equality, fostering leadership stories, successes, and opportunities,” Secretary Frasco said.

“Our appreciation goes to the Philippines Department of Tourism for their hosting of this inaugural conference and generous support, as well as for their commitment to gender equality and development,” PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid said, adding that the event “represents a pivotal moment in our industry, as we come together to celebrate the invaluable contributions of women and address the critical challenges they face in the travel and tourism industry.”

“I would like to express my gratitude once again, to Your Excellency, Secretary of the Department of Tourism, for your leadership, your kindness, and for being with us today, and to each and every one of you for your dedication to this important cause that the PATA strongly believes. I can assure you that the PATA International Conference on Women in Travel will not be the first time, we will take this to the PATA [frontline event] and we will definitely continue to organize this event globally and for many years to come. And that is because we love the Philippines,” he added.

DOT’s commitment to gender equality promotion

In her keynote remarks, Secretary Frasco shared before delegates her fair share of challenges of juggling official duties as a woman leader and a mother of four children, from her tenure as a three-term Mayor of the Municipality of Liloan in Cebu amid the COVID-19 pandemic and Supertyphoon Odette that hit Cebu in 2021, and now as Secretary of the DOT and the youngest member of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s cabinet upon the President’s invitation in 2022.

“I recognize that countless women must similarly confront the challenge of juggling work with caregiving responsibilities, and unfortunately, many of these significant sacrifices go unnoticed and underappreciated,” Secretary Frasco said.

“Which is why, ever since I came into the fold of the DOT, it became my mission to ensure that the efforts of the Department must not only be focused on achieving numbers and targets, rather, it must also focus on ensuring the well-being of our workforce, dedicated to building a tourism industry that ensures that we put tourism workers at the forefront of the government’s priorities, particularly, women, who play a pivotal role in shaping our tourism landscape—from our female guides, all the way to our female officials. I sought to leverage the feminist values that guided me as Mayor: sensitivity, nurturance, humanity, and love, and extend them to a national scale, ensuring that the tourism sector serves not only as a vehicle of economic prosperity, but also as a force for promoting human dignity,” the DOT chief added.

Towards this direction, the DOT, for the first time ever, has appointed Tourism Integrates, Supports, and Minds Women’s Rights and Child Safety (TourISM WoRCS) Officers across the regions in the country to ensure that the Philippines “remains a woman- and child-safe destination”, with the Tourism Worcs manual soon to be rolled out among the Department’s various operational units to equip them with the knowledge and tools to effectively combat sexual harassment, trafficking, and gender-based violence within the sector.

Furthermore, in a bid to herald the unique and world-renowned brand of Filipino hospitality and invest in the Filipino workforce, Secretary Frasco shared the DOT’s attainment of its target of training 100,000 workers on the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) program in 2023. The DOT surpassed this goal, having trained 127,125 workers trained on the FBSE last year. Of this, 70,208 or 55.2% of the trained workforce are women.

“This milestone sets a resoundingly optimistic tone for our industry, affirming our long-held belief that women can and should access meaningful opportunities within the tourism sector,” Secretary Frasco said.

The DOT has also made significant strides in advancing equality in the Philippine tourism industry by ensuring that tourism products and infrastructure projects prioritize gender sensitivity. This is manifested in the Department’s establishment of Tourist Rest Areas (TRAs) across the country to enhance the overall tourist experience, with each of the TRA having features such as clean restrooms, souvenir centers for local vendors to sell their goods, and breastfeeding stations dedicated for lactating mothers.

To support employees of the DOT, especially working mothers, the Department inaugurated a Child-Minding Center at the Central Office. “Here, you’ll see employees working and be assured that their children are entrusted to a safe and nurturing environment, free-of-charge, with licensed daycare teachers, while they are at work,” the DOT chief said.

Secretary Frasco further shared that in the DOT, women comprise an impressive 56 percent of the workforce. Notably, 62 percent of women hold official positions, and the majority of the Department’s Undersecretaries are women.

Pointing out critical challenges faced by the tourism sector globally, Secretary Frasco noted the importance of enhancing sex-disaggregated data in the industry.

To address this, the DOT is working towards establishing a comprehensive sex-disaggregated database that will serve as a cornerstone for developing evidence-based policies and programs contributing to gender equality. Furthermore, it will help the DOT in monitoring progress towards its gender equality objectives, and tracking disparities in access, participation, and outcomes between men and women.

“By harnessing the power of data, we will be able to identify areas where gender imbalances persist and use this information to inform our policy and decision-making especially as we endeavor to provide more tourism opportunities for our destinations all over the country,” Secretary Frasco explained.

Founded in 1951, PATA is a not-for-profit membership-based association that serves as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.

 

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Hotel owners oppose proposed legislated daily wage hike

The Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOA), with 60 member companies that own 206 operating hotels across the country, has expressed its opposition to the proposed legislated daily wage hike ranging from P150 to 350 currently under deliberation at The House of Representatives.

Representing a substantial sector of the hospitality industry, the association has highlighted concerns about the potential adverse effects of this wage increase on the tourism and hotel sector in the Philippines.

“The industry is still grappling with low tourist arrivals, decreased room occupancy rates, and subdued revenue generation compared to pre-pandemic levels,” Arthur Lopez, PHOA president declared.

In his letter addressed to House Speaker Martin Romualdez, PHOA President Arthur Lopez acknowledged the significance of enhancing workers’ welfare. However, he underscored the fragile condition of the industry in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Tourism numbers and revenue figures are struggling to recover,” Lopez revealed. He added that the timing and potential repercussions of a blanket wage increase will have a negative impact on the hotel industry.

“What is needed is a strategic and sustainable approach to economic recovery, “ said Lopez. He urged policymakers to consider the unique challenges faced by the tourism and hotel sector in the current climate, stating that the wage adjustment decisions should be entrusted to the regional tripartite wages and productivity boards.

Lopez also added that there is a need for more comprehensive initiatives encompassing education, training, and business environment improvements to foster long-term growth and job creation.

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