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PIA Press Release

North Philippines Tourism Caravan, WOW Philippines Cordilleras Best 2008 sllated Nov. 21-23

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (15 November) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT-CAR) launched the North Philippines Tourism Caravan and WOW Philippines Cordilleras Best 2008 in a kapihan forum Wednesday.

The North Philippines Tourism Caravan, a travel, trade and tourism expo with the theme " Adventure Leisure and Wellness" will run on November 21 to 23 at the ground floor of SM City Baguio.

According to DOT-CAR Director Purificacion Molintas, the caravan will not only showcase events, it will also feature other adventure attractions in Cordillera such as the water rafting of Kalinga and rock climbing in Kibungan. There will also be a taste of local food, like the Cordillera coffees and wines. Aside from the Cordillera, regions I, II, III and V will also join the event.

Back to back with the caravan is WOW Philippines Cordilleras Best 2008 featuring a Grand Parade of Cordillera Festivals on November 23, highlighted by street dance competitions. Now on its fourth year, this is the first time that all the provinces, with about 20 contingents are joining the festival.

Molintas explained that the ultimate goal of DOT in promoting tourism is poverty reduction, which is in line with the President's "Labanan ang Kahirapan" priority programs. She also explained that as far as tourism is concerned, they are now focusing more on the local market to balance the effect of the global financial crisis to the international tourism market.

Molintas also confirmed the increase of tourist arrivals in the other provinces of Cordillera, such as Ifugao and Kalinga. In the past, Baguio City holds 90% of tourist arrival in CAR, but now it is about 70 - 75% and the remaining 25-30% of tourist arrivals is shared by the different provinces in CAR.She attributed this development to the completion of the Halsema Highway Phase I.

In promoting eco-tourism, the DOT has an LGU Capacity Building Program, but she stressed that it still depends on the focus of the local executives.

Included in the schedule of events are Domestic Tourism Promotion and Cordillera Theatrical Cultural Performance at the Baguio Convention Center on November 22 and a Grand Parade of Cordillera Festivals on November 23, which will feature a street dance competitions, wherein for the first time that all the provinces, with about 20 contingents, are joining. (PIA) [top]

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