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Palawan, Sabah join NorthPhil tourism expo
Cebu Pacific is official airline partner
By Joey Pavia

Nov 14, 2011

Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Castillo (3rd from left) and Cebu Pacific’s Candice Iyog (right) lead the ceremonial ribbon-cutting of the NorthPhil expo at the SM Clark on Friday.

Joining them are (L-R) SBMA’s Garcia, NorthPhil event organizer Edith Collado, Central Luzon Tourism Council head Lydia Co and Pampanga Board Member Tars Halili.

Tour operator Alvin Queck and Sabah Tourism Board  George Yapp and Tracylynn Jutili at their booth.

The Cebu Pacific booth at SM Clark.

ANGELES CITY – More than 100 participants, including promoters of Palawan’s Subterranean River and Sabah of Malaysia, joined the three-day North Philippines (NorthPhil) Tourism and Travel Expo 2011 at the SM City Clark here over the weekend.

This was according to Central Luzon Tourism Director Ronnie Tiotuico who led the closing ceremonies of the NorthPhil on Sunday. Punto Central Luzon is a media partner of the trade and tourism expo held from November 11-13.

Tiotuico disclosed that the 6th NorthPhil expo had been joined by tourism promoters from the Visayas and Mindanao and the Sabah Tourism Board.

“We have here people from Davao and Palawan promoting their respective area,” Tiotuico said.

He added that Palawan’s participation is timely as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River has successfully landed on the New 7 Wonders of Nature international poll.  

Tiotuico said “now they understand the importance of promoting and marketing through trade and tourism expo.”

He added that the NorthPhil started with “only about 80 participants and most of whom are from Luzon.”

Candice Jennifer Iyog, Cebu Pacific’s vice president for marketing and distribution, said the NorthPhil had increased the awareness of people about the potentials of North and Central Luzon as major tourism destination. Cebu Pacific is official airline partner of the NorthPhil 2011.

“It’s always Boracay and other popular destinations we hear about. But here in North and Central Luzon there are many tourist destinations, including fine beaches,” said Iyog, who joined the ceremonial ribbon-cutting during the expo’s opening on Friday afternoon.            

Gordon Yapp, deputy general manager of the Sabah Tourism Board, said their tourist arrivals from the country “had been peaking.” He disclosed that about 50,000 Filipinos had visited Sabah last year via airlines coming from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Clark Airport.

“About 40 percent of which comes from Clark,” added Yapp. He expressed confidence that they will meet their target number of tourists from the country this year. AirAsia flies daily to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia from Clark and Cebu Pacific offers three times-a-week flights to the same area.

Gilda Padua, president of the Alliance of Travel and Tour Agencies of Pampanga (ATTAP), said her group had promoted “Pampanga Plus” tourism packages. She said Pampanga could be the base of tourists as they visit Subic and other destinations in North and Central Luzon.

Almost 700,000 passengers used the Clark Airport last year. The Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) earlier said it expects one million passengers this year.    

Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Pampanga Board Member Tars Halili, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia and NorthPhil event organizers joined Iyog in the opening ceremonies.  

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