Davao travel agencies eye 20% hike in sales

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 Feb) – An association of travel agencies here is eyeing a 20-percent higher sales in its annual travel fair than last year’s P50-million gross sales as it will be in conjunction with the Philippine Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, Exhibitions / Events Conference (MICECON).

This was revealed by Rizia Ivy Tan, president of the Davao City Travel Agencies Association (DTAA) during the regular Club 888 media forum here.

She said the fourth Davao Mega Travel Sale, which will be held at the SMX Convention Center on March 7-10, is in partnership with the MICECON. The MICECON, which will be held on March 6 to 9 in the same venue, is the country’s premiere tourism event to consolidate and strengthen all sectors involved in the MICE industry.

On its first time to invite foreign delegates, the 2013 MICECON will have at least 200 delegates, some of them coming from Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, Tan said.

MICECON participants will have a series of industry-related educational sessions on the latest travel updates, the newest destinations and information on the current trends and the future of tourism from some of the most respected speakers in the Philippine travel sector, the DTAA said.

The 2013 Davao Mega Travel Sale will host 25 exhibitors with 20 member-travel agencies joining the fair with smaller booths compared to 50 exhibitors last year, she said.

“We will have smaller booths, but bigger markets,” she stressed.

Fraz Pasquil, DTAA vice president, also a guest, said they are positive with the results as they are in partnership with an international event, first time for the DTAA.

“It’s a very big opportunity for us to sell our local travel packages and to support the city’s tourism destinations,” he told reporters.

He added that the target clients will be more of the corporate sector, citing the event’s theme: “Making your travel ideas into corporate experience!”

Discounted by 30 to 50 percent, local tour packages to be offered at the travel sale may range from P2,000 to P2,500 per person, minimum of six persons, Tan said.

She cited that there will also be tour packages from the city to anywhere abroad for as low as $50, inclusive of tour and hotel, sans plane tickets.

Most of the discounted plane tickets, she explained, will be a “pay now, travel later” promo, noting that the travel periods will begin from May onwards.

The Tourism Malaysia and Sabah Tourism offices will join the mega travel sale, while the Singapore Tourism Board will support the event only by distributing souvenir items and brochures, Tan said.

She cited that for four consecutive years, the travel sale has partnered with Cebu Pacific as the official airline sponsor, while other airlines – such as the Southeast Asian Airlines, Tiger Airways and AirAsia – have been supporting the event. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro / MindaNews)