The 11th Regional Travel Fair, organized by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, made a triumphant return to full onsite event since the COVID-19 pandemic, generating over PHP 110 million in actual and negotiated sales during its three-day event at the SM Seaside City Cebu from 21-23 July 2023. This surpassed the previous RTF sales figure by 32.97%.
TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Margarita Montemayor Nograles expressed her elation over the resounding success of this year’s RTF, “We are thrilled to witness the overwhelming response and enthusiasm from exhibitors and visitors during the Regional Travel Fair. The outstanding sales leads signal a bright future for the tourism industry in the post-pandemic era and reaffirm travelers’ confidence in the safety of their travels.”
Present during the event were TPB COO Maria Margarita Montemayor Nograles, Tourism Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation, Coordination, and Resource Generation (TRCRG) Shahlimar Hofer Tamano, Intramuros Administrator Atty. Joan Padilla, Assistant Secretary Rica Bueno, DOT Calabarzon Regional Director Marites Castro, Director Judilyn Quiachon of the Tourism Coordination and Regional Operations, Cebu City Mayor Michael Lopez Rama, TPB Deputy Chief Operations Officer for Marketing and Promotions Atty. Charles Aames Bautista, and TPB Domestic Promotions Department Manager Teresita Landan.
The event was also attended by social media personalities Chuck Aquino and Joe Abad, popularly known as Chuck and Joe, and Marie Field Faith.
With the theme #VisitCentralVisayas, the annual trade fair provided a platform for over 70 exhibitors nationwide to participate in the event. Industry professionals took the opportunity to share emerging trends and best practices, innovate travel-related business operations, and expand networks through its engaging Business-to-Business (B2B) sessions. Tourism offices from Central Visayas, including the Province of Cebu, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Siquijor, Boho, and Negros Oriental presented their tourism product updates during the B2B session.
The fair also opened its doors to enthusiastic travelers during its two-day Business-to-Consumer (B2C) session held on July 22-23. Among the offerings were discounted tour packages to famous and emerging local destinations, airline tickets, accommodation, delicacies, and pasalubong items.
“We desire and aim to play a major role in shaping the future of tourism by creating a one-stop shop venue for industry collaboration and partnerships,” said Tourism Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation, Coordination, and Resource Generation (TRCRG) Shahlimar Hofer Tamano who delivered a keynote speech at the event on behalf of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco.
Meanwhile, TPB members, industry stakeholders, influencers, and media partners were also treated to a post-tour trip to the heritage towns of Argao and Carcar for an immersive experience of southern Cebu’s culture and culinary offerings.
The RTF was made possible with the support of the Department of Tourism Region VII, Provincial Government of Cebu, and City Government of Cebu. The event was also sponsored by partners from the private sector – SM Seaside City, 2GO, Jpark Island, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, Philippine Airlines, NUSTAR, Fili Hotel, CAVA, Bluewater Maribago Mactan, and Marco Polo Cebu.
TPB anticipates an even bigger and better Regional Travel Fair slated in October this year in Ilocos Region.