Department of Tourism Undersecretary Art Boncato(second from left) with DOT8 Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes and DOT staff from Central, Western and Eastern Visayas at the One Visayas booth which was adjudged as the best booth at the recently held NorthPhil Tourism and Travel Expo 2018 at SM Clark. (Roel T. Amazona)

CLARK, Pampanga – Eastern Visayas region joined on the recently-held NorthPhil Expo 2018 held at SM City Clark together with two other Visayan regions under the One Visayas.
The NorthPhil Expo or North Phil Tourism and Travel Expo marks NorthPhil’s rise as a tourism super-region and global destination, with CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region) as a hub for natural wonders, Ilocos Region for history and culture, Cagayan Valley for all-terrain adventures, and Central Luzon for sports, agri-tourism and culinary escapades.
The presence of Visayas regions at the NorthPhil optimized the promotion of the Eastern, Central and Western Visayas to new market not only targeting tourists coming from Region 3 but also those coming from northern Luzon.
“This is strategic marketing because we are not only targeting Region 3 but the northern Philippines,” Director Karen Tiopes, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT), said.
“We share one booth with two other Visayan regions because we are also trying to come up with a circuit with Central and Western Visayas. We already have the concept of what kind of tour packages that we are trying to provide,” she added.
The existence of flight to Clark Airport helps tourists to have better connectivity with other tourist destinations in the Visayas.
A direct flight from here is now being offered to Eastern Visayas through the airports in Catarman, Northern Samar; Calbayog City and Tacloban City.
A tourism circuit with Central and Western Visayas is also being developed by the three regional offices of the DOT.
“What is common among the three of us (is) number one is diving. The best dive sites are found in the Visayas areas which we are developing hopefully by early next year we can come up with a tour program that will be sold by tour operators of the three regions. One common tour program, tours that are going around the three regions,” Tiopes added.
Meanwhile, DOT Undersecretary Art Boncato, in his message during the opening of NorthPhil Expo on November 16, underscored the importance and responsible use of social media in tourism promotion.
“We have to utilize this in our own advantage and we are calling for our partners and stakeholders in the tourism industry to use social media platform in a positive voice especially in promoting our culture, our people, and our history,” Boncato said.
“Instead of joining the trolls, we should be conscious and let just focus in promoting what is good and what is true,” he added.(ROEL T. AMAZONA)