With pandemic still raging

TACLOBAN CITY – The regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT) hosted this year’s 7th Regional Travel Fair (RTF).
This is the first hybrid edition of RTF organized by the Tourism Promotions Board, an attached agency of the tourism department, which aims to sell online discounted domestic tour packages to the consumer or public, and to provide opportunities and innovative ways of developing new business connections and update local industry partners.
Some sellers at the hybrid RTF were at the venue in Summit Hotel, here in the city while the others were at their respective homes with the buyers joining the event from their respective regions.
The participants used a link which gave them access to a portal to meet each other online and do business.
A total of 54 sellers from the region and 85 buyers from other parts of the country participated in the online event held last August 5 to 8 highlighting tourist destinations, accommodation facilities, and other tourism related services that the region offers.
“We want to focus on the diverse product, the richness of your culture, the beauty that everybody of us will have a chance to visit in Eastern Visayas once this pandemic is over, with the offer of your Infinite Escapes,” Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, TBP chief operating officer, said.
Allones added that the use of hybrid format for RTF introduces sellers and buyers to the concept of using technology in promoting tourism products.
“It is a gift, a tool that we can use, so that we can improve the way we do things, we conduct activities, and hopefully transform communities, and improve lives,” Allones said.
She added that the TPB will also pursue the promotion of Smart Tourism, an effort which they hopes everybody will appreciate.
Secretary Bernadette Puyat, who delivered her message virtually lauded Tiopes on her effort to develop new tourism products for the region.
The secretary added that as the country and whole world is still facing challenges brought by the present pandemic, the DOT, as part of its mandate to ensure safety of tourists in reviving tourism that will help in revitalizing local economy, will continue to ensure “safe travel” to everyone.
“We will pave the way for our tourism to bounce back for the sake of those who defend for their livelihood, and for the tourism community to gradually recover from the adverse impact of this pandemic,” Puyat said.
The four-day activity was highlighted by the hybrid business-to-business (B2B) session, hybrid consumer show, showcasing health and wellness tourism, and presentation to sellers of tourism products from the transport sector, accommodation facilities, and tourism sites and destinations.
Sellers that presented their products during the consumer show included Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines; in travel and tour agencies, Leyte Gulf Travel and Tour, Kamp Kolambu, Gusto Avventura Travel and Tours, Hero Travel Solutions, SMR Travel and Tours, and Budgetmate Travel and Tours.
For accommodation, Hotel XYZ, Caluwayan Palm Island Beach Resort and Restaurant, M Grand Royale, Summit Hotel, Piňa Suites, and NASAKASECO.
Sogod Bay Scuba Resort, and Southern Leyte divers for dive resort; Villa Conzoilo Farm, and Beengo Farm for fun farms; and Samar Community-based Tourism Sites, Leyte Bike Tours, LaraPh, and Eastern Samar Surfing for destinations and tourism products.
Also highlighting the travel fair was the presentation of Eastern Visayas Food Culture dubbed as “Sumsuman ha Tarangka-an” by Chef Mark Reynan Campado Sabayan who prepared sinugba and kinilaw, two of the popular dish found in occasion and drinking session of locals.
After Eastern Visayas, the TPB will conduct another RTF before the end of this year, with Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX) as host.