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From visa-free Korea to Spratleys tours, here are awesome trip packages you should snag at the PTAA Travel Tour Expo 2024

By Jerald Uy Published Feb 03, 2024 1:45 pm

Travel fairs make planning more exciting. You get to meet experts and fellow adventure-seekers, and uncover hidden gems—all while securing unbeatable travel deals.

Whether you’re a clueless first-time traveler or have had enough of your barkada’s plans that stayed as “drawing”—a Filipino slang for trips that did not materialize—you have to head down to the 31st Travel Tour Expo (TTE) now taking place from Feb. 2 to 4 at the SMX Convention Center Manila in Pasay City. 

Here are some of the deals that caught our eye at the TTE, an event organized by the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA):

Visa-free Korea travel package

Are you a K-pop or K-drama fan wishing to travel to South Korea but anxious about getting your visa application rejected? You can opt for an entry permit to Yangyang International Airport instead of Incheon International Airport which requires a visa.

The Philippines is among the few Asian countries allowed to travel visa-less in groups as part of South Korea’s program to promote tourism in Gangwon Province. Don’t worry, Seoul and even the famous BTS bus stop at the Jumunjin Hyangho Beach are part of the itinerary! So long as you had no previous Korean visa denial or any bad record in any country, you are eligible for the visa waiver program.

One travel agency offering this visa-free package is Rakso Travel and Tours, Inc. set for the Korea Spring Festival with departures on Mar. 31, Apr. 4, and April 8 (Twin or Triple: $1,099 or around P61,445); and on Mar. 23 and 27 (Twin or Triple: USD1,199 or around P67,037). Excluded are the Philippine travel tax (P1,620), Airline tax ($85 or around P5000, which is subject to change), and the one-time mandatory tipping for the guide and driver ($25 or around P4,000).

Here’s the itinerary for Rakso’s five-day, four-night package:

Day 1

  • Samcheok Ocean Rail Bike, Balwangsan Skywalk with Cable Car

Day 2

  • Everland Theme Park, K-Star Road & GangnamDol, Bibap Show

Day 3

  • Ginseng outlet, cosmetic shop, Gyeongbok Palace with Hanbok wearing, N. Seoul Tower and Lovelock Deck, Myeongdong Shopping Street

Day 4

  • Red Pine, Seoul Forest with BTS Bench, Nami Island

Day 5

  • BTS Bus Station at Jumunjin Beach 
Barkada packages for Tokyo and Osaka trips

If you and your friends all grew up watching anime then it might be time to experience Japan yourselves with barkada packages available at TTE. The ABOEX Travel & Tours, for one, is offering a deal of P29,999/pax (minimum of four) for its Osaka tour and P35,888/pax (minimum of four) for the Tokyo tour.

Hong Kong Disneyland package

The Hong Kong Tourism Board has an eye-catching booth at TTE, particularly showcasing Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, inviting attendees to Disneyland Hong Kong. Nearly all travel agencies have a bundle offer for those who primarily want to experience the so-called “happiest place on Earth” for free and heal their inner child.

Travel agency JTB, in particular, has three packages that include a 1-day ticket to Hong Kong Disneyland on Day 2. The three-day, two-night plan ($405 or around P22,643) has a half-day city tour; the four-day, three-night plan ($514 or around P28,738) adds a free leisure day; and lastly, the five-day, four-night plan ($623 or around P35,000) includes a full day Macau City Tour. 

Spratlys getaway
The delegation of the Municipality of Kalayaan, Palawan makes a bold statement on sovereignty by promoting the Spratlys as a tourist destination.

If you’ve already ticked off local destinations like Boracay, Siargao, and Coron from your list, why not book your next trip to the Spratly Islands in Kalayaan, Palawan?  

“The West Philippine Sea is waiting for you; we have very diverse islands,” shared Khenjap Hupanda, tourism officer of the Municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan. “Kung gusto ninyo pong maintidihan kung bakit importante na ipinaglalaban natin ang teritoryo sa West Philippine Sea, come visit us, we have special discounts waiting for you here.”

Operated by a local cooperative Kalayaan Islands Tourism Agents with support from the local government unit, the travel packages include the Pag-asa Summer Tour (7D2N) in time for its Pista ng Karagatang Kanluran (P50,000 or $1,000 per person; TTE discounted price: P45,000) in May.  For sports fishing enthusiasts and divers, there’s The Great Kalayaan Expedition (7D2N) that will take tourists to Lawak Island, Patag Island, Likas Island, and Pag-asa Island (P150,000 or $3,000 per person | TTE discounted price: P135,000). 

With nearly 400 exhibitors at the event, there are a lot of deals you can choose from so you can start your revenge travel era. Here are some shots from the 31st Travel Tour Expo, currently running until Sunday, Feb. 4.