ITCHING to travel?
The Cebu Tours and Travel Association (CTTA) and Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (Catos) suggest Cebuanos head over to Ayala Center Cebu on Feb. 15 to 17 as they mount the fifth Cebu Travel Catalogue International (CTCI) where over 100 tourism players will join the three-day travel expo.
CTTA president Angelita Dy said the CTCI will feature discounted airline tickets, hotel rooms and tour packages around the country and abroad.
She said mounting expos like this beefs up the tourism activities in the country, which have been steadily growing the past years.
“Activities like this encourage people to travel, which is good for the economy,” said Catos president Alice Queblatin.
The three-day expo will feature Cebu’s top tour and travel agencies, hotels and resorts, domestic and foreign airline companies, and local and international tourism offices.
Joining for the first time this year is the Israel Ministry of Tourism. According to Queblatin, Israel is banking on the Filipinos’ strong interest in overseas travel. She said Israel wants to see more Filipinos visit, not just for pilgrimage tours to the Holy Land, but also to see the other tourism attractions of their country.
Besides Israel, the Japan Travel Bureau, Korean Tourism Organization, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Czech Tourism, Hong Kong Tourism Board and Singapore Tourism Board will also be represented.
According to CTTA’s Shiela Colmenares, Japan and Korea are two favorite overseas destinations of Cebuanos. They also see high traffic of Filipinos going to Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and China.
While they expect high outbound travels, tourism players also expect robust domestic tourism activities, as locals and foreigners explore new destinations in the country.
Queblatin said they are pushing for Carabao Island as a must-experience destination because of its raw beauty.
She said this island can be an alternative destination for tourists who want to experience a Boracay-like island from 30 years ago. Carabao Island is just half an hour away from Boracay.
Aside from this new destination, the expo will also serve as a platform to showcase the new tourism products of the province.
Taking center stage are the eco-tourism attractions of Bantayan and Camotes, among others.
This year’s edition of CTCI also features a travel auction. Dy said they will auction off luxury stays, tour packages and flight tickets. The proceeds of the auction will be used to buy school supplies for selected schools this school opening.
Among the participating airlines for the three-day travel expo are Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Eva Air, Korean Air, Silk Air, Tiger Air and Turkish Air.