The country’s 16 regions will soon showcase its various attractions, festivals and products to both domestic and foreign tourists and local residents in a “Best of the Regions” cultural extravaganza to be held at the Pueblo Pilipino grounds near the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila. This regional event is a part of the yearlong activities of the Visit Philippines 2003 (VP2003) campaign of the Department of Tourism set to be launched on February 5.
Declared by the World Tourism Organization, the VP2003 campaign was created to restore the Philipppines’ good image as a safe and exciting destination. It also aims to revitalize the Walled City of Intramuros which will be the main venue of the event. The VP2003 likewise seeks to make Filipinos proud of their own illustrious past, and appreciate indigenous festivals, ethnic music, original compositions, culinary arts, vintage films, and folk traditions, all of which will be featured in the campaign’s various activities.
Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon said he envisions Intramuros not just as a major tourist destination of the country, but more importantly as a truly valued heritage site of the ASEAN region. He hopes the implementation of the Visit Philippines 2003 will boost the Filipino spirit.
The nationwide tourism campaign will be participated in by the entire travel industry sector, business community, academic sector as well as non-government organizations (NGOs).
Each region will have a whole month to feature their best sellers —from the most unique characteristics of its top tourist attractions, festivals, music, arts, literature to its products, cuisines, souvenirs as well as its artists, award-winning performers, costumes and performances. Southern Tagalog will be the first region to exhibit their products and attractions in February.
Daily activities include night markets, puppet shows, street parties, cultural parades with bands, performers and mascots.
One of the highlights is a travel mart where trade buyers, investors and consumers can deal directly with the official representatives of the 16 regions and avail of its various tour packages and promotions. The trade exhibit will also include craft demonstrations such as embroidery, hand-painting, and carving.
A cultural market, on the other hand, sells a wide range of products including artworks and other collections, handicrafts, antiques, fashion accessories, gifts and houseware.