North Luzon tourism expo draws 20,000  participants; hailed as “tourism mall”

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, November 14, 2010–Some 20,000 individuals composed of foreign and domestic tourists have taken part in  NorthPhil Expo 2010, an annual tourism event which opened Friday, offering dazzling cultural extravaganza at SM Clark which has been dubbed a “tourism mall” by organizers.


Ronnie Tiotuico, regional director for Central Luzon of the Department of Tourism said the three-day event, which ends today, is a “tourism attraction” by itself.


Tiotuico said the three-day festivity where the DOT, LGUs (local government units) and private enterprises celebrate the richness and diversity of, not only the North Philippines, but also the rest of the archipelago and the best of the best that the country can offer  showcased the country’s colorful natural and historical heritage and traditions.


The expo featured the world –renowned PUP Banda Kawayan of the Province of Bataan and the provincial brass band of Pampanga, with a parade highlighting the Ibon-Ebun Festival of the town of Candaba, cultural shows and special presentations by the DOT offices in the Cordilleras, Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley, and the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales. The two freeport zones, Clark and Subic Bay also held their own game shows, animal shows, raffles and cultural performances.


There are also corporate presentations by Crimson Resort and Spa, Matabungkay Beach Resort, Microtel/Paramount, Philippine Retirement Authority, and  Zambales Resort Owners Associations, and game shows and raffles by Cebu Pacific and the Pampanga Agents Travel Society.


Tiotuico noted that these activities put the spotlight on the unique Filipino artistry and cultural traits that can be gleaned from ethnic music, dances, arts and crafts and world-renowned brand of hospitality and warmth. 


“Together, these create a compelling and irresistible tourism brand proposition for both the domestic and foreign inbound markets.  As such, we are packaging a strong marketing mix in a multisensory and experiential fashion to help define the country’s tourism brand as a cut above the rest,” Tiotuico pointed out.


He said North Luzon offers a wellspring of tourism diversity,” with Subic and Clark serving as international gateways, serving notice it is a jump-off point for a tour of the country.


He said exhibitors from Luzon’s far north in the Cordilleras to the far south in Bicol and all the others in between, including popular destinations in Visayas and Mindanao are taking part in the expo.


“The expo affirms the rise of North Philippines as a domestic and international tourism hub or “tourism mall” with its contiguous sprawl of rich and diverse natural and cultural attractions and destinations that can all be reached by land,” he said. 


Supported by the Central Luzon Tourism Council, the expo is a project of the DOT offices in CAR, Ilocos and Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley Region and Central Luzon, and managed by the Philippine Exhibits and Theme parks Corporation. (Jason de Asis)