PHILTOA’s famtour highlights Negros Oriental’s tourism potential

PHILTOA’s famtour highlights Negros Oriental’s tourism potential

Published By: Travel Update

The Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) puts another exclamation mark to its position as the premiere domestic and inbound tourism association by organizing a familiarization trip for its members and media to the island of Negros Oriental in partnership with the provincial tourism office. This event coincides with the grand Centennial celebration of the provincial capitol.

On the first day of the 4D/3N tour, 17 Manila-based tour operators met with an equal number of their Dumaguete counterparts for a B2B session in the afternoon.

Former Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director of NCR, Woodrow Maquiling, Jr., now the Executive Director of the Provincial Tourism Office of Negros Oriental, welcomed the PHILTOA delegation. He highlighted impressive numbers, revealing 272,000 tourist arrivals last year.

“I always post on social media that we are aiming for 500,000 tourist arrivals this year because of that data. In the first quarter of this year, we reached 142,000, an increase of 155% from last year, so that goal is reachable,” Maquiling said.

Former DOT Assistant Secretary and current PHILTOA VP Maria Lourdes Japson expressed her gratitude for the support given by the province and its private sector.

“As always, we are committed to supporting the growth and sustainability of the Philippine tourism industry. We believe that by working together, we can overcome challenges, adapt to new trends, and continue to attract visitors from around the globe,” Japson stated.

The PHILTOA tour included visits to the newly paved roads of the province, the pristine natural attractions of Apo Island and its marine sanctuary, Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park, the Manjuyod sandbar adventures, Bais dolphin watching, PulangBato falls, hot springs, Mag-aso sulfur vents, the immaculate National Museum of Dumaguete, Rizal Boulevard, St. Catherine Cathedral, and new Instagram-worthy sites like The Barn and Tierra Alta events place, while sampling traditional cuisine.

PHILTOA delegates also participated in another B2B event and social gathering at a dinner hosted by the Negros Oriental Hotel and Resorts Association (NOHRRA), led by its president, Royani Dy. The association currently has 68 stakeholders and frontliners of the hospitality sector as members.

Japson remarked that the tour operators are grateful for the market-friendly contracted rates offered by NOHRRA members, and emphasized the importance of the food industry with the burgeoning trend of food tourism, noting that Negros Oriental can excel in this area.

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