The Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) attempts to bring ecology, ethnic and cultural tourism products into the mainstream by launching a yearly travel mart specifically for these alternative attractions.
“These are still weak products. We’re trying to define and brand them well,” Philtoa president Cesar Cruz told TTG Asia.
The inaugural Green and Gold Tourism Travel Mart will run from May 4 to 6. In its first three editions, the event will take place in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig City and thereafter alternate to other areas including Cebu, Davao and Bohol for a wider reach.
While there are already a number of consumer travel shows in the country, including Philtoa’s own Philippine Travel Mart every September, Green and Gold Tourism Travel Mart is distinguished by its focus on alternative tourism products following themes of ethnicity and culture, fiestas, eco-adventure, culinary, agriculture and heritage, along with a series of educational workshops and events featuring local artisans.
Cruz shared that local government units and community-based organisations are expected to participate in the May mart in response to the country’s sustainable tourism aspirations.