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Domestic tourists starting to explore regional spots

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - June 30, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Undiscovered spots in regional areas like Caraga and Eastern Visayas are now emerging as vacation destination among domestic travelers.

MyEventology Co., the organizer of the upcoming 3rd International Travel Festival, noted the growing interest of Filipino travelers to explore the natural wonders of the “unassuming” destinations in the Philippines.

In line with this emerging interest for local destinations, company managing director Stephanie Villahermosa said the three-day travel festival, slated on July 15-17 at the Ayala Center Cebu, will feature regional domestic destinations, from regions 1 to 13.

Villahermosa said the regional tourism offices nationwide will be participating in the event to showcase their respective tour packages.

She cited Caraga Region in the northeastern part of Mindanao as among the fastest rising destinations that caught the interest of domestic tourists, including the adventurous foreign travelers.

Caraga Region is composed of five provinces namely Agusan Del Norte, Agusan Del Sur, Surigao Del Norte, Surigao Del Sur and Dinagat Islands, and six component cities namely: Surigao, Butuan, Bislig, Tandag, Bayugan, and Cabadbaran. It is the home region of the world's surfing capital — Siargao.

Caraga  or Region XIII is considered as a Gold Country. Its jewel lies in the region's vast forest, fertile mountains and valleys, seas, rivers, lakes, mineral deposits, people and other natural endowments.

Likewise, the Eastern Visayas, or Region 8, where Yolanda-devastated areas like Tacloban and Ormoc, is also gaining popularity among travelers.

This Leyte region catches the adventurous and nature-loving Filipinos and foreign travelers, with unspoiled tourism and raw charms, like rain forests, falls, caves, beaches, among others.

Villahermosa said however, that Filipinos are also continuously traveling to other countries, and that Japan is now the famous destination among Filipinos.

With the theme "Don't Dream, Just Go," the ITF 2016, just like any travel fair, is bringing in together over a hundred exhibitors including, national tour operators, airlines, hotels, resorts, travel agents, financial institutions, and insurance agents.

Simultaneously, the event will also hold its second Cebu Travel Exchange (CTX) component, which is a business-to-business session among ITF exhibitors.

Villahermosa said this year's CTX will bring in more foreign buyers from different ASEAN countries, India, and Middle East. The session will be held at the Radisson Blu Cebu, on the 14th of July. (FREEMAN)

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