DOT in partnership with China Airlines and GTT International holds Fam Tour to acquaint travel agents on Taiwan, PHL destinations
Fam tour affords travel agent-participants new resources and tools
for promoting tourism products and services in both countries
By Manny V. Ilagan, PDOT-Los Angeles
MANILA – A guided Fam Tour recently conducted jointly by the Philippine Department of Tourism’s United States offices, China Airlines and GTT International/Majestic Vacations focused the spotlight on tourism destinations in both Taiwan and the Philippines.
The Fam Tour, the first of its kind that showcased destinations in two countries, was held January 24 to 30, 2015 in line with the Department of Tourism’s marketing campaign to promote the Philippines as part of a twin destination tour packages or an extension vacation destination to other Asian countries.
The joint Familiarization Tour, which is participated by Chinese-American, Vietnamese and some Filipino-American travel agents, is seen as an excellent way of increasing the tour operators’ product/destination knowledge to effectively promote, market and sell the Philippines to both individual and group travelers looking for destinations that cater to all kinds of travelers.
The Fam Tour further aims to establish a long-term and stable professional relationships with the tour participants to exchange ideas and learn what mainstream American travelers are looking for in a travel destination and understand better the trends in travel of the North American market.
The Fam Tour was headed by respective DOT representatives from Los Angeles, Manny Ilagan, and MItchelle Dy from New York. Ms. Depi Cheng, meanwhile, represented China Airlines and Ms. Eliza Chung from Los Angeles and Ms. Leni Chavez from Chicago represented GTT International/Majestic Vacations.
The first leg of the Fam Tour took the participants to Taipei, where they were treated to an early sojourn to Taipei’s famous “Hot Spring Spa” on the day they arrived, in cooperation with the Taiwan Tourism Board.
The following two days in Taipei were spent in a whirlwind of activities that took the participants to a historical trip to the Memorial Hall, Lungshan Temple, the Martyrs’ Shrine, the National Palace Museum; a cultural and geological excursion to Yehliu Geo Park, the Queen’s Head, Chiufen Village and Nanya Rock formations; plus an exciting shopping exploration to Taipei’s famous Ximenting Shopping Area, Ningxia Night Market and a visit to the famous Taipei 101 Observatory.
Meanwhile, the Philippine’s Tourism Promotions Board hosted the second leg of the Fam Tour and took the attendees to Manila and then onward to Palawan. Participants spent three-days, two nights at Puerto Princesa, where they explored the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, which was recently declared as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Other highlights include a tour of Puerto Princesa’s historical, natural and cultural destinations, as well as a unique gastronomic experience courtesy of one of the popular restaurants in the city that serves exotic and one-of-a-kind dishes such as “crocodile sisig”.
An island hopping tour and a picnic on the island capped the participants’ stay in Palawan.
With travelers wanting real and authentic immersion experiences, the DOT-China Airlines-GTT International Fam Tour’s customized itinerary aimed to provide the Fam Tour travel agent/participants a first hand experience of what Taiwan and the Philippines have to offer to the traveling market, as well as find new ways to develop and create new tourism activities to stimulate the flow of visitors from the North American travel market to Asian destinations such as Taiwan and the Philippines.
In addition, the Fam Tour affords the travel agent participants new resources and tools for promoting tourism products and services in both countries.
Partner hoteliers include Marriott Hotels of the Resorts World Manila group in Manila, Hotel Inter-Continental Hotel Manila, and Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa in Palawan.