Tour operators target young Asian travelers
The Cebu Association of Tour Operation Specialists (CATOS) is now preparing tourism packages specifically designed to attract the active millennial Asian travelers, particularly the Thai and Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam) nationals.
CATOS president Alice Queblatin said they are looking to attract the young travelers from Thailand and Indochina following the announcement of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to launch a thrice-a-week Bangkok-Cebu-Bangkok direct flight starting December 2, 2017.
Yesterday, PAL hosted a business-to-business event dubbed "Central Visayas – Thailand Networking Activity" at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Hotel in coordination with the Department of Tourism (DOT-7) converging travel brokers from Thailand, Vietnam and Cebu.
Queblatin said since Thailand and Indochina countries are all tropical and offer similar attractions as the Philippines, Cebu will offer something different to this young Asians by incorporating activities and products that excite their interests. Something interactive and fun.
"We did some research, and these travelers from this part of Asia, [Thai specifically], are asking for Oslob, Kawasan watefalls adventure, food, underwater activities like diving, mixed with a little bit of heritage and culture," said Queblatin.
Aside from the Thais, Queblatin said travelers, especially the younger people and families too from the Indochina peninsula are also traveling to the Philippines, and Cebu in particular is becoming more popular.
Packages are also attuned to the spending habits of this particular market who can be quite budget conscious, and luxury accommodations are "not their thing."
DOT-7’s latest record show that arrivals from Thailand to Central Visayas increased by 21.22 percent, attributed by the improvement of direct flights connecting Cebu to Thailand.
The Philippines is trying to emulate Thailand's success in tourism, but both countries are also starting to seal cooperation deals to boost each other's tourism advantages.
In fact, there is also a growing number of Thai travelers who discovered the Philippines as interesting destination in the ASEAN, not so much on sightseeing because both countries have similar nature-based attractions, but rather more on experiencing Filipino's warmth, hospitality and friendliness.
Good diving destinations in the Philippines are also among the top activity lists for Thai travelers, said Thai Trade Center director Rachakorn Saksri in an earlier interview. —