PAL-DOT Familiarization Tour explores Cagayan, Isabela and Kalinga
With Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) movement of flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila to Clark Pampangga, and having its new route to the City of Cauayan in Isabela, the Department of Tourism, Region 2 partnered with this airline company to provide a gateway for travelers to explore the Northern Cagayan Valley and the Provinces of Kalinga in the Cordilleras.
The PAL-DOT familiarization tour aims to enhance travel, boost tourism and promotes connectivity to these areas which are currently not familiar to the Visayas and Mindanao domestic travel markets which can provide new preferences to explore the beauty of the countryside.
The said familiarization tour started on November 12-17, 2018 with twenty-three participants composed of top travel agents and tour operators from NCR and the VisMin region, members of the media and the DOT regional representatives who are also from the same region and a representative from PAL.
The group was welcomed by officials of the City of Cauayan and some industry stakeholders at the Cauayan City airport and took them for lunch on the first day which provides for an opportunity to exchange contacts and to establish connections. The group visited the Hacienda de San Luis which was a tabacalera farm during the Spanish regime. The group alsohad a quick rolling tour to the City of Cauayan that showcases its century old Our Lady of Pillars Church.
After the Cauayan City tour, the group went to visit the Tumauini Church which allures the guests with itsold and the only cylindrical bell tower in the country. After which, the group went straight to Tabuk City for an overnight stay. They were also welcomed by the City Officials and some industry stakeholders.
The second day was a visit to Daguitan Eco-village farm in Tabuk which featuresa coffee plantation and Chinese antique collections of plates and bowls. The village is owned and managed byFroilanAlbert who prepared local dishes for the group. After lunch, the participants went straight to a pilgrimage visit to the Our Lady of Piat and then visiteda DOT accredited agri- farm site at Cagayan State University. Meanwhile, the City Government of Tuguegarao hosted a dinner for the group which also provides an opportunity for the industry stakeholders from the city to establish networks from the stakeholders from VisMin and NCR.
The third day was a visit to the Municipality of Gonzaga where participants enjoyed the serene environment and clear waters of Matarra Beach. A welcome reception and an arranged lunch were also hosted by the Municipality. A quick visit to the human-sized station of the cross in Iguig was also visited by the participants.
On the last day before their departure date, the group was given a quick city tour in Tuguegarao plus an actual demo on how to cook the famous pancit batil potun.
The familiarization tour was indeed an opportunity to intensify air connectivity and accessibility and would eventually help in dispersing the benefits of tourism to the countryside.