20 July 2012 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur reported that the first Philippine Tourism Fair in Malaysia was launched today with a bang at the Lower Ground Concourse Area of the Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur.
Taking to heart the new Philippine tourism slogan, "It's more fun in the Philippines," the launch featured performances from dance groups Sinulog Dancers and Indak Turismo and band Velocity, booths showcasing Philippine tourism sites and offering special tour packages to the Philippines, a treasure hunt and raffle contests.
National Commission for Culture and the Arts Committee Head on Visual Arts and visual artist Nemi Miranda, Jr. was one of the guests during the event, and did spot sketches of the proceedings.
Also present during the launch were Tourism Representative for Malaysia Melissa Ong, Department of Tourism (DOT) Group Head for North America and Asia Pacific Director Ma Corazon Jorda-Apo, DOT Regional Director for Eastern Visayas Rowena Su Montecillo, DOT Regional Director for Central Luzon Ronaldo Tiotuico, DOT OIC-Regional Director for Central Visayas Atty. Helen Catalbas and World Travel Group President Tunku Iskandar.
Participating airlines included Cebu Pacific, AirPhilExpress, ZestAir, Air Asia, as well as tour operators LT Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd, YL Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd, Travel Dynamics Sdn Bhd, and Borneo Tours Sdn Bhd, Discourse Team Sdn Bhd, Destination Specialists Cebu, and Pearl Farm Resorts, among others.
In his speech, Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said that in the light of the renaissance in Philippines-Malaysia relations, as well as more airlines serving the route, it is also high time for Malaysian tourists to discover why "it's more fun in the Philippines."
"The holding of this First Philippine Tourism Fair in Malaysia is most timely in light of the increased number of airline flights between the Philippines and Malaysia, with the entries of Airphil Express and AirAsia Philippines and of Zest Air and MASwing in October as well as the planned joint promotion of Philippine and Malaysian destinations by our respective tourism ministries," he said.
"All these are most exciting as these create additional opportunities not only for our countries, the Philippines and Malaysia, to help grow each other's tourism industries, but more importantly for Malaysians and Filipinos to visit each other's country and get to know each other better. After all, we're close-by neighbors and partners in ASEAN. May this tourism fair be an avenue for our Malaysian neighbors and friends to discover why, as our tourism slogan would say, 'it's more fun in the Philippines'," he added.
The Tourism Fair is expected to draw crowds over the weekend, with families frequenting the Berjaya Times Square for their weekly recreational activities.
The day before the opening of the tourism fair, a sales mission from Cebu had a product presentation and mini-travel exchange with their Malaysian counterparts, towards creating more business opportunities for them for the succeeding years.
The Tourism Fair is a joint promotional campaign by the Embassy, the DOT and Berjaya Times Square, and will run until July 22.