5th Regional Travel Fair at Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao

by - Monday, October 21, 2019

I’m a stranger to Mindanao until I met a couple of people who turned out to be some of my friends later on. I used to be hesitant in exploring what this island group has to offer because of the underlying issues around it. But, firsthand stories from friends about how wonderful their place and culture made me switch mindsets. And just recently, I was finally able to swing by Mindanao for the first time - the 5th Regional Travel Fair at Cagayan de Oro!

To give you an idea, Regional Travel Fairs are organized by the Tourism Promotions Board (TBP) to strengthen domestic tourism around the Philippines. They also bring the travel fair across different regional areas for travelers who cannot go to significant travel exhibits in the metro. The most recent one was held last August 23 - 24, 2019, at the City of Golden Friendship, Cagayan de Oro.

Before the program started, I already got the chance to watch some locals create beaded accessories and woven items that they’ll be selling at the 2-day event.

I was thrilled to see exhibitors from different regions who are downright ready to showcase what their cities have in store for local travelers. While going around, I can't help but think where my next domestic travel will be. 😌

Flights to and from Cagayan de Oro and nearby cities were on sale that day; that’s why I made sure to hit some friends who live down south!

Good news! The next installment of the regional travel fair will take place at Sta. Rosa, Laguna. (The southerner in me is very happy! 😍) Keep your eyes peeled at the Tourism Promotions Board Facebook Page for more details!

I was also lucky enough to be able to listen to various forums arranged by the Tourism Board of the Philippines at Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro's tallest and biggest hotel to date.

Topics such as Women Empowerment, Becoming Filipino, Safety in Tourism, and MICE 101 (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions) were covered. Here are some of my key takeaways from the talks.

Perception on Mindanao

Kyle “Kulas” Jennermann hit the spot when he said that different viewpoints surround Mindanao at present. Here are some ways on how we can beat it, per Kulas:

1. Use the word Mindanao in online and offline platforms
2. Allow visitors to feel local by shaping local experiences for them
3. We have to create positive media about it
4. Empower locals. Believe in them.

If we’re able to shift the perception, we can open an opportunity for sustainable practices.

Sustainable Tourism

We have to influence other travelers to take care of the beautiful places we share online - may it be in a serious or witty way. It’s a simple way of getting them involved in future-proofing these gems.

Apart from the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer fairs I’ve attended, I was also able to see some must-visit places in Cagayan de Oro and nearby cities. I am sharing them on the next blog post, so stay tuned! 💖

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