If you haven’t started planning that summer vacation yet, it’s best to head to Travel Tour Expo (TTE) 2013 at the SMX Convention Center on Feb. 15-17. Spend a day (or all three) exploring more than 500 booths of hotels, resorts, airlines, travel agencies, embassies and other travel products inside Halls 1, 2, 3, 4 and Function Room 5 of SMX.
The expo, now on its 20th year, is dubbed “Gateway to Getaways.” It promises shoppers the best rates for the peak season, said TTE chair Aileen Clemente at a recent press conference in Makati. Also at the conference were Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) president John Paul Cabalza, Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Bong Benzon and TTE Media chair Marciano Ragaza.
“Domestic [destination] booths have also increased this year, so it’s a good mix of both local and international exhibitors,” she added.
TTE is organized by the PTAA with the DOT-Tourism Promotions Board. An expected 100,000 visitors are expected at the event.
This year, the expo is introducing the first PTAA Travel Tour Expo Gateway to Getaways Coupon Book, a compilation of all of participating exhibitors’ promos, plus two complimentary entrance tickets.
“All the freebies, resort vouchers, airline and hotel discounts will be in that book,” said Cabalza. “It’s better that they have it as they go around the expo, since booths will not honor the promo without the corresponding coupon.” The coupon book will be sold at P200 each. Regular ticket price is at P50; for senior citizens, it’s only P20.
To lessen the queues at airline ticketing booths, shoppers can go straight to travel agencies and tour operators who will also be selling flight tickets. If you’d like to veer away from the usual set tours, you could sit down with a travel agent and plan a personalized itinerary.
Those who would like a glimpse of what’s happening inside the expo before they go to the actual event can log on http://www.ptaatraveltourexpo.com.ph, where there will be a live-streaming video of TTE’s activities.
Other highlights include: An appearance by Hello Kitty at the Japanese Embassy pavilion; performances from Philippine Airlines; plus other “surprise” activities at the DOT booth. Guests can look forward to frequent flyer program Asia Miles’ daily raffle of 92,000 miles, which can be redeemed even for international trips. There will be one winner per day.
TTE 2013 is open to the public on: Feb. 15, 10 a.m.-9p.m.; Feb. 16, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Follow TTE on Twitter (twitter.com/traveltourexpo) and Facebook(facebook.com/traveltour.expo).
Call Fairs & More (event manager) at tel. 845-1324 or 759-6680; or the PTAA secretariat, tel. 552-0026 to 29.