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10 December 2010

DOT to French Travel Agents: Make PH Choice Destination in Asia

Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim recently welcomed 50 travel agents, including two of
the biggest travel companies in France, who were here for a week-long destination
workshop and familiarization tour of key holiday destinations in the Philippines.

The Second French Tour Operators and Travel Agents On-Destination Philippines
Workshop Presentation and Travel Networking Mart was organized by the Department
of Tourism (DOT) to further boost this market’s interest and awareness of the
Philippines as a choice destination in Asia.

“Our initiative to hold workshops right here in the Philippines allows frontline travel
agents to see and experience for themselves what the Philippines has to offer in terms
of attractions and activities. This year we are going beyond the sun and sea
destinations. We want to highlight our cultural and heritage sites as well as health and
wellness destinations,” Lim said.

This year’s workshop also aims to counteract the negative effects brought about by the
European Union’s (EU) ban on Philippine air carriers by introducing alternative
destinations accessible by land and sea.

“While tourist arrivals from France grew by 12.7% from January to September this year
compared to last year, the increase would have been much higher without the EU ban.
Lim stressed in his address that the Philippines is working hard to get the EU ban lifted
by early next year. In the meantime, DOT will continue its marketing and promotional
programs in France. “We must keep our presence in the market. And we do this by
introducing alternatives to existing traditional Philippine travel programs,” said Lim.

Familiarization tours were made to Rizal Park, Intramuros and old Quiapo district in
Manila; Banaue and Hapao Rice Terraces in Ifugao; Tagaytay, Taal Volcano and The
Farm at San Benito in Batangas; El Nido, Palawan; and Coco Beach in Puerto Galera,
Oriental Mindoro.

The destination workshop started on December 3 with two of the biggest travel
companies in France giving presentations: Asia Voyages on the Ifugao Rice Terraces
and on Heritage and Cultural tours, and Visiteurs en Asie on North Luzon/Ilocos Region.
Philippine ground handlers Intas, Marsman and Annset, on the other hand, covered
Boracay, Cebu/Bohol and Bicol, respectively. There was an e-learning Philippine sales
training and interactive demonstrations on the tinikling and arnis.

The week-long program ended on December 9 with a French Agents Sales Training
Travel Exchange program at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel.

The DOT’s office in Frankfurt and Team Europe in Manila organized the workshop and
facilitated sponsorships from Cathay Pacific Airways plus full board from participating
accommodation establishments.



Office of Marketing Communications
A votre santé! Participants to the 2nd French Agents Workshop raise their glasses to a toast
during the bar/cocktail mixing session at the Diamond Hotel.

DOT Secretary Bertie Lim (center) with the French tour agents, DOT organizers, local
ground handlers and cultural performers.

Interessant! Local ground handlers seem to wow the French agents during their tabletop