84 firms set to join travel fair in April

Business.(Business File photo)

A GROUP of seasoned travel agencies and tour operators is organizing a travel fair this April to officially kick off the summer travel season.

Dubbed Cebu Travel Catalogue International (CTCI) 2024, this eighth edition of travel fair, organized by the Cebu Tours & Travel Alliance (CTTA) will mount a three-day travel expo from April 12 to 14, 2024, at the Ayala Center Cebu in Cebu City.

It will be participated in by 84 companies from airlines to travel agencies, resorts, hotels, banks and other tourism-related establishments and organizations. As of Monday, 79 companies have committed to join the event.

CTTA president Alan Carvajal said the upcoming fair offers flexible travel options and customizable itineraries to suit every traveler’s needs whether they travel solo or with groups.

“Under the theme ‘Time to Travel More,’ CTCI 2024 embodies the spirit of adventure, an exploration that defines our industry. It serves as a call to action for all of us to embrace the opportunities before us, step beyond our comfort zones and discover the wonders our world has to offer,” said Carvajal, during the media lunch on Monday, March 18.

CTCI 2024 is also in partnership with Cebu Alliance of Tour Operation Specialists Inc. (Catos).

Angelita “Baby” Dy, vice president of the CTTA, said the demand for travel has surged this year, with numerous cities and towns unveiling their destinations to all types of tourists.

She said there’s a palpable eagerness among people to break free from their routine activities and explore new horizons.

Alice Queblatin, president of Catos, said the average length of stay for foreign tourists in the Philippines has risen to 14 nights, indicating a growing interest among international visitors in exploring the country’s tourism offerings.

“This just means that there is now a bigger interest about the Philippines,” she said.

In 2023, the country’s international tourism receipts have surged at an estimate of P482.54 billion, up 124.87 percent compared with the P214.58 billion estimated visitor receipts from the same period in 2022.

In 2019 or the pre-pandemic period, the Department of Tourism recorded P482.15 billion in international tourism receipts.

Last year, the Philippines welcomed 5,450,557 international visitors.

Cebu, Queblatin said, still remains largely on the radar of tourists, not only because of its pristine beaches but also because of the other tourism products that the province offers, such as culture and heritage, wellness, mountain adventures and other experiential tourism activities.

Central Visayas logged 6,126,477 tourists in 2023. Of the total, 3,963,680 are domestic tourists while 2,160,708 are foreign tourists.

By 2024, the DOT is targeting a baseline target of 7.7 million international visitor arrivals. / KOC


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