TACLOBAN CITY –The booth of Eastern Visayas was adjudged as the first runner-up for the Best Booth Regional Category at the recently concluded 34th Philippine Travel Mart held at the SMX Convention Center.

EV SHINES. The booth of Eastern Visayas at the travel mart was among declared as the best. The said booth used the iconic San Juanico Bridge as its main backdrop.(DOT-Eastern Visayas)

The region’s booth was designed with the iconic San Juanico Bridge, which connects the Leyte and Samar islands, as the main backdrop.

“We’re thankful for this recognition and are committed to continuing to showcase the captivating treasures of Eastern Visayas to the world,” Department of Tourism 8 Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said.

More than 200 exhibitors from all over the country joined the event. The Eastern Visayas Pavilion showcases hidden gems from the provinces of Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, Southern Leyte, Maasin City, Tacloban City, and the towns of Burauen and Palompon, both in Leyte.

Several notable tour operators from the region also joined the event.

Held from September 1 to 3, the Philippine Travel Mart, the country’s most prominent and longest-running travel expo, is an annual event sponsored by the Philippine Tour Operators Association or PHILTOA.

This annual expo is participated by tour operators, hotels, resorts, and airlines including local government units.

DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, in her message during the opening ceremony, noted that the country has big potential to become a tourism powerhouse.

“The Philippine Travel Mart reflects all the reasons to love the Philippines. All of our regions in the country are represented and they have brought the best of the best of their destinations—their products, their festivals, the work of indigenous peoples, especially from Mindanao. It also shows how much our tourism stakeholders have worked so hard to ensure that Philippine tourism rises back stronger than ever,” she said.