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PIA Press Release

Zamboanga stands out in 2007 Philippine Travel Mart

Zamboanga City (September 14) -- Zamboanga, now known as Asia's Latin City, was well applauded and praised as a 'port of entry' of Philippine tourism in Mindanao during the recently concluded 18th Philippine Travel Mart (PTM), a three-day event that featured tourism destinations nationwide held in Manila.

Tourism officials including local and foreign tour package buyers who attended the luncheon briefing hosted by the city government all agreed that Zamboanga has a lot of things to offer and could become the premiere tourist and investment hubs in this part of the country.

Mayor Celso Lobregat spearheaded the Zamboanga tourism blitz through a power point presentation focusing on the potentials of Zamboanga as a tourist destination and the reasons for the Asia's Latin City branding.

Impressed by the presentation, Senator Richard Gordon, who is Chair of the Senate Committee on Tourism, shared his fond experiences in Zamboanga, "I am fascinated by the street dancing a "vivacious activity" during festivals and the commitment of Zamboangueños to support the tourism campaign." In his message mentioned the historic Fort Pilar and City Hall, the R.T. Lim Boulevard as among the sites that ought to be seen in Zamboanga. "Try and experience Zamboanga City "

Tourism Secretary Ace Barbers commended Mayor Lobregat, his good friend and a former colleague in the House of Congress, for the wonderful job being done in Zamboanga. He said he is amazed at the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival, the city's grand festival in October and described it as "one dynamic event celebrated by the city".

Barbers was the city's guest of honor and speaker during the Zamboanga Hermosa festival celebration in 2004, the year when he also assumed the Tourism portfolio. "I hope you too will have the opportunity to see the colorful Zamboanga City," Sec. Barbers enjoined the almost a hundred travel and tour package buyers from as far as Japan, Singapore, Poland, India, United States of America, Czech Republic and numerous other nations.

Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab also extolled Zamboanga for its diverse and ever growing tourist attractions and named the city along with Davao as the "port of entry of Philippine tourism in Mindanao. "No conflicts can change the beauty of Zamboanga", Palabyab declared.

Other officials who acknowledged Mayor Lobregat and Zamboanga City during their messages were Joselita Pestano, President of the Philippine Travel Operators Assocaition (PHILTOA); Cathy de Mendoza, 18th Philippine Travel mart Deputy Secretary General for Business Prospects; Cherry Pie Pena, 18th PTM Assistant Secretary General; Lydia Cosuco, Deputy General Manager of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) and Yvonne Pascual, 18th PTM general manager.

Assisting Mayor Lobregat during the luncheon briefing were District I Rep. Beng Climaco, Councilors Gerky Valesco, Lynet Abarro, Lilia Nuno and Luis Biel III, Tourism Region 9 Director Ricardo San Juan, City Tourism officer Sarita Hernandez and several others.

Valesco, who is the Council chair of the Committee on Tourism said the PTM, held at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong from September 7-9 brought together 336 booths showcasing the various tourism destinations in the country with tour package ready offers.

The popular "El Pueblo" a group composed of students from the Zamboanga City High School-Main gave a cultural presentation during the affair. A fashion show featuring Zamboangueña models also highlighted the event. Zamboangueño Nancy Ann Blanco won in the gown competition which was participated by models nationwide.

The PTM was organized by the Philippine Tour Operators (PHILTOA), Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation (PCVC.

Zamboanga City was the only city given the chance to do a direct sales mission through the luncheon briefing, during the PTM. (CIO/PIA Z.C.) [top]

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