AS THE demand for international and local travel soars in the country, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Visayas and aviation and hospitality stakeholders will host the 6th International Travel Festival (ITF) this July in Cebu City.
Gelena Asis-Dimpas, DOT Central Visayas chief tourism operations officer, said the increased connectivity among airlines and airports boosted tourist arrivals in the region.
"The ITF, as it has been for the past five years, conveys the increasing demand to bring international and local tourism products and services closer to travelers," she said during the launching on Thursday, June 27, 2019.
Dimpas said events like the ITF would help in tourism development in Central Visayas as it gears toward reaching a balance between sustainable tourism and more domestic and foreign tourists.
"ITF complements to what we have been working on campaigning and lobbying for. There are four focal areas like the sustained increasing tourist arrivals, improved connectivity, safety and security programs and upgrading of time-tested tour packages in Cebu," Dimpas said.
The ITF saw growth from 92 exhibitors in 2017, 97 in 2018 and an expected 105 exhibitors on July 12 to July 14, 2019.
Philippine Airlines senior assistant vice president, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao sales, Harry Inoferio said affordable and competitive rates from various airlines would make traveling easier.
"We have always been growing our involvement in our major hubs in Manila, Cebu, Clark and lately, Davao," Inoferio said.
Inoferio added that famous domestic destinations like Clark, Camiguin, Siargao, Bacolod and Iloilo among others remain to be favorites for leisure-loving travelers.
As for emerging destinations, he identified Cambodia and Vietnam to be two of the countries that are gaining traction among travelers.
"We have to look at the sustainability of the traffic," he said.
Stephanie Villahermosa, general manager of the ITF, also said destinations like Hanoi in Vietnam, Phnom Penh in Cambodia and different provinces in China are also emerging.
In the domestic scene, places with famous beaches like Siargao, Boracay and Coron, Palawan remain to be a staple among travelers.
The 6th ITF will be held at Ayala Center Cebu. (SunStar Cebu)