After months of living in and out of lockdowns, travel is back with a vengeance.
Get your bucketlists and credit cards ready because the biggest travel expo in the Philippines is back.
The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) will stage the 29th Travel Tour Expo and the seventh International Travel Trade Expo this weekend, at the SMX Convention Center from June 24 to 26, 2022.
The expo promises big discounts on tour packages to both local and international destinations, including to newly reopened South Korea and Japan.
While there have been a lot of online seat sales lately, travelers looking to snag good deals will still want to attend the expo. The face-to-face event will offer a whole slew of travel deals, discounts, and tour packages for both foreign and domestic travelers all in one space.
Here’s what we know so far about the country’s biggest annual travel and tourism event.
The expo is happening this weekend from June 24 to 26
This year’s event will take place from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26, 2022.
The doors will open from 9:00 am - 10:00 am on June 24 exclusively for bank partners. The event will open to the public from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm (June 24), 9:30 am to 7:00 pm (June 25) and 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (June 26)
The expo will occupy function rooms 1 to 5 on the second floor of the SMX Convention Center at the MOA Complex, in Pasay City Philippines.
Organizers are estimating a foot traffic of 30,000 to 45,000 visitors throughout the three-day run.
Entrance tickets will cost P50.00 per person for general admission and P30.00 for senior citizens.
There will be at least 142 exhibitors
At least 142 exhibitors will participate in the event, ranging from travel and tour agencies, airlines, hotels and resorts, and national tourism organizations including the Philippine Department of Tourism, embassies, and travel insurance companies.
Exhibitors will be offering event-exclusive promotions and discounts on airfare, accommodations, and tours. Travel tour operators will also be on-hand for those who want to book package trips for groups or the whole family for more convenience.
Some agencies will also be offering visa assistance, passport assistance and special rates for students, workers and immigrants.
Promos for both local and international destinations will be up for grabs
“We’re offering or promoting all the destinations, locally and internationally, especially those that relaxed their protocols,” PTAA president Michelle Taylan said in a press briefing last week.
Domestic airlines like Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines will be there offering in-event promos to their hottest destinations.
According to Michelle Lim of CEB Corporate Communications, Cebu Pacific has continuously seen an uptick in travel demand for both local and international destinations, as many countries ease their restrictions.
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“For CEB, top domestic destinations are Everyjuan's usual go-to beach spots such as Boracay, Bohol, Cebu, and Palawan; while for international, flights to Japan, Korea, and Singapore are currently in-demand. We make sure we do what we can keep fares as low as possible so we may continue enabling people to fly,” Lim of Cebu Pacific told PhilSTAR L!fe.
“Those planning to visit the Travel Tour Expo this weekend should be there early, ready with their credit cards to score the best travel deals yet,” Lim added.
"PAL will be offering special rates at the PTTA Travel Tour Expo 2022. Make sure to have options for your travel dates to get the best deals," Bud Britanico, VP of Sales for Philippine Air Lines (PAL) told PhilSTAR L!fe.
Other airlines that will be present include Japan Air, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, Air Asia and Sunlight Air.
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Raffles, freebies and surprises
The event will be filled with raffle draws, corporate game shows, entertainment, and presentations from exhibitors and sponsors.
Raffle prize donors include Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Guam Visitors Bureau, The Oriental Hotels and Resorts, Bataan White Coral Beach Resort, and Resorts World Manila among others.
Big discounts on holidays to South Korea and Japan
If you've been wanting to visit South Korea this year, you're in luck. Starting June 8, 2022, all international travelers can travel to Korea quarantine-free regardless of vaccination status. Japan is also relaxing their entry requirements for international travelers traveling on package tours starting in June 2022.
According to the PTTA, the biggest discounts will be tagged on holidays to South Korea and Japan, two destinations that are hugely popular with Filipino travellers.
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The Korea Tourism Organization, representing 10 regional tourism offices of KOREA, will be in booth #195~204, #215~223, while Korean Air will be in booth #224.
The Korea Tourism Pavilion has also prepared special surprises for anyone who purchases Korea tour packages, land arrangement or airline tickets. Guests just have to show their proof of purchase and valid ID at the redemption area of the information booth.
Health protocols will still be in place
Those attending the expo are still being asked to comply with new normal protocols, including wearing of face masks. Vaccination cards are still required and body temperature scanning will be doe at the entrance. Contactless systems will be used for payment.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat reassured travelers that safety measures are in place, not just at the event, but all over the country in destinations that have reopened.