August 10, 2012. SMX Convention Center.
Despite the recent threat of the low pressure rains, it didn’t stop people from coming to the opening of the 23rd Philippine Travel Mart at SMX Convention Center. The Travel Mart is organized by the Philippine Tour Operators Association or PhilTOA.
It is called Travel Mart because it is like a market for those who need to transact their travel arrangements all in one place. You can book a flight or a cruise, made reservations to a hotel, and get the best deals a travel agency can offer.
The purpose of the Travel Mart is not just to market the exhibits but to offer a chance to see the tourist attractions our country has to offer. It a way, the Travel Mart is also a campaign for the current Philippine tourism, “It’s more fun in the Philippines”.
I’ve been going to the Travel Mart for three years straight and I can guarantee that there are promotion deals that the Travel Mart can offer that you won’t see in from the exhibit’s regular offices but only during the event. There are offers that get better as another day of exhibit progresses. Travel Mart just opened this year with a flash mob dance together with the candidates of Mutya ng Pilipinas.
What to expect from this year’s Travel Mart? The Sale Ng Bayan is one of the exhibits primarily operated by PhilTOA to provide all the necessary travel arrangements. The people manning the Sale Ng Bayan are trained to accommodate every transaction and can also multitask. They are equipped with LAN phones for each one just to let the clients assure that the transaction runs smoothly. You can choose either to pay in cash or using your Citibank credit card. Either way, there’s a 0% interest for it.
Since Citibank is a major sponsor of the event, the 0% interest will surely be handy. You can still use other credit cards but that’s where the added interest comes in. You could consider applying for Citibank. You can also apply right in Travel Mart for your Citibank right away.
|The Ritz Hotel,etc.|
Besides the Sale Ng Bayan, here are some exhibits I can recommend to visit. There’s the Ritz Hotel for your needs of accommodation. They’re booth offer other accommodations depending on your desired location. If you wish to see Coron in Palawan, visit the booth of Darayonan Lodge also for accommodation. Darayonan's booth is located on M132.
Some exhibit booths are also good backgrounds for a photo-shoot. I recommend the Banaue Tourism for their wooden bikes. If you can also visit the Paoay booth, you might also get a Juan Luna mustache. The Laguna Tourism with their caricature booth. My favorite booth is the Camarines Norte booth. One side of their booth has golden brown sand directly from their virgin beach island of Calaguas which I was able to visit. On the other side is the Cadig Cave display.
|Cadig Cave display of CamNorte booth|
Each exhibit is contending for the best booth each year. The point comes from the participation of those who purchased tickets and where given stickers to use for voting their favorite exhibit. There are also lots of happening at the activity area where the stage is set for programs throughout the exhibit. Travel Mart is a three-day event that ends this Sunday, August 12.