Dubbed as “One Region, One Destination”, the First General Meeting of the Association of Travel and Tour Agencies of CALABARZON (ATTA-CALABARZON) had successfully etched a history in local tourism at the lush and verdant Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna.
It was a ‘phenomenal providence’ to have been impressed with the slogan “One Region, One Destination”, according to Lax Junnel Mendoza, the Founding President of ATTA-CALABARZON, INC. and Owner/Manager of Le VYGR International Travel. It was during a spontaneous speech he delivered during the opening of the first general meeting when he unprecedentedly got that epiphany. He believed that God impressed that exceptional idea and that God has been leading all along, even on the onset of its founding one year ago.
It could be paralleled to that point to be of one accord, to unify and to strengthen the forces of ten travel and tours agencies within Region IV-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon Provinces) which gave birth to this amiable and affable association before the historic APEC Summit 2015 for the Financial Department Heads of ASEAN and Asia-Pacific Nations in Tagaytay on March 3-6, 2015.
Mr. Mendoza emphasized: “Since the birth of the new region to boost the tourism industry to its maximum potential, we have organized a legitimate association of travel agencies and tour operators in Region IV-A CALABARZON. This is a group of DOT-Accredited Travel and Tour Agencies and Allied Industries to work hand-in-hand with the Regional Office of the Department of Tourism, hence, named Association of Travel and Tour Agencies of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, Incorporated or ATTA-CALABARZON, INC.
The association aims to promote a healthy competition within the region and to encourage more establishments to get themselves accredited as promulgated in the Republic Act 9593, also known as, Tourism Act of 2009.”
Unity beyond Diversity
The founding year has been fruitful, and it yielded more influence as ATTA-Calabarzon Inc. created ripples to the Local Government Units, Regional Office of the Department of Tourism, and other travel and tours agencies, hotel managements and corporations within and beyond Region IV-A.
It has been a crucial challenge for travel and tour agencies to unite, and it was effortless to have turned out unified with one purpose. It was made possible when owners and operations managers set aside personal agenda and had the series of brainstorming to have come up with wonderful ideas that were beneficial to everyone. It was remarkably crowned with a huge accomplishment: APEC Summit 2015!
The Pioneering Members/Board of Trustees are the following:
- Flybook Travel & Tours (Cavite)
- EM Travel Corporations (Laguna)
- Guru’s Guides Travel Management (Laguna)
- Le VYGR International Travel (Laguna)
- Uno Budget Travel & Tours (Laguna)
- A3 Travel & Tours (Rizal)
- Crown Point Travel & Tours (Quezon)
- My Journey Travel & Tours (Quezon)
- Myles Travel & Tours (Quezon)
- Sunburst Travel & Tours (Quezon)
- APEC Summit 2015 Tagaytay City
The first set-up was for each travel and tour agency to propose a bid for the complimentary tours of the delegates of the summit. It was intense, and yet they came up with a more insightful counterpart to be a unified travel and tour agent (all-in-one). The planning and delegating were tiring and exhausting. The top priority was maximum security for the delegates and satisfaction for the tourists.
Touring Taal Volcano (1911 Crater) was simply surreal! According to the acting Corporate Secretary and Owner/Operations Manager of Flybook Travel and Tours, Ellen Narvas, they never expected that amongst the complimentary tours, Taal Volcano would be the first choice. They all loved the adventure, they didn’t mind the scorching sun and the trail (special trail was made for the APEC Summit delegates). They were fulfilled and happy to have experienced exploring Taal Volcano Crater in an ample time allotted. That’s a set-apart experience to have seen the guests satisfied! Goal achieved!
*Keep posted for the exclusive feature article for APEC Summit 2015 for more details.
- DOT Seminar for ASEAN Integration
ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on Tourism Professionals, held at One Tagaytay Place Hotel and Suites, Tagaytay City on June 29, 2015
- Ilocos Familiarity Trip with the Invitation of Ilocos Norte Provincial Government
*Keep posted for the exclusive feature article for this familiarity tour.
Strengthening and Splaying the Influence’s Sphere
The heavy downpour during the meeting at Costales Nature’s Farm signified a shower of blessings! It was worth the long, winding travel for 38 attendees to convene at the haven of verdure and versatility. It was well represented with the respectable and responsible LGU officials and DOT Associate Officer – Region IV-A, Mr. Joseph Gilbert A. Lazaro, guests, and friends.
The cozy multi-functional hall and the fresh organic food gave a glorious gastronomical experience while the attendees interacted with each other. The Costales Nature Farms has been one-of-its-kind! It’s the country’s first organic agricultural farm which upholds self-sustaining farming and ecotourism with wondrous activities awaiting for guests and tourists.
The highlights of the said meeting were the regional tourism updates, the conceptualization of the calendar of events/ activities for 2015-2016, the election of officers for vacant positions, and committees’ formulations.
COSTALES NATURE FARMS is a prime agro-tourism destination that conducts ecological and balanced farming techniques, which aims to promote a sustainable agriculture, healthy lifestyle, and environmental biodiversity through integrated organic farming.
The farm was adjudged as the Most Outstanding Organic Farm of the Philippines for the year 2012 recognized by, Benigno Simeon Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines. We continue to create awareness about the ill-effects of chemical inputs in food production, the importance of organic farming, inspiring small farmers to become better agripreneurs, encouraging students to engage into organic agriculture and patronizing organic produce for a healthy lifestyle.
For more information: http://costalesnaturefarms.com/the-farm/
The Official Elected Officers for 2015-2016:
President: Lax Junnel Mendoza, Le VYGR International Travel (Laguna)
Vice President: Merlie Nario, Lakbay Kabayan Travel (Batangas)
Secretary General: Susan Virtucio, Guru’s Guides Travel Management (Laguna)
Treasurer: Orsa Lia Sanuco, A3 Tours and Travel (Rizal)
Public Relations Officer: Marilyn Mendiola, Sunburst Travel & Tours (Quezon)
Carmelo de Goroztiza, One Tagaytay Place Hotel & Suites (Cavite)
Daisy Ocampo, Discover Tours (Laguna)
Adellee Paala, Peak Travel International (Batangas)
Liza Marie Delfino, Lizmar Travel (Rizal)
Stella Marie Salvacion, Myjourneys Travel & Tours (Quezon)
“It’s More Fun in the Philippines”, and yet, “It’s More Fanciful in CALABARZON”. ‘One Region, One Destination’ is more than a mere slogan. It’s a significant belief that tourism has no boundaries, no factions, and no separations.
One Association for One Region
The cherry-on-top during the meeting: the five provinces within Region IV-A merged and agreed with the campaign, “ONE REGION, ONE DESTINATION. COME, VISIT CALABARZON!”
This was done with a hope to strengthen the association’s advocacies in the fields of tourism pertaining to promotion, marketing and accreditation. It’s a joint effort by the DOT-accredited Primary Establishments and Stakeholders, Provincial Tourism Offices, Association of Tourism Officers of each province and the full support of the Department of Tourism Region IV-A.
The Region IV-A has been blessed to have a full package when it comes to multifaceted tourism. It’s the sole region within the entire country to have all of the following features to offer and attract local and foreign tourists alike, thus making it a one-stop tourism hub:
- Beauteous Beaches
- Fascinating Water Falls
- Ravishing Rivers & Lovely Lakes
- Terrific Theme Parks
- Huge Highlands
- Exquisite Ecotourism
- Special Souvenir Shopping
- Creative Cultural and Religious Heritage
- Amiable Arts and Culture
- Heath-boosting Hot and Cold Springs
- Wondrous Wellness Spas
- Culinary Extraordinaire
- Outstanding Organic Agricultural Farming
After the general meeting at Costales Nature Farms, the organizers and participants visited SAM KARA, a new-found gem in Lucban. This cozy garden resort is intricately beautified with indigenous materials, making you feel at home.
ATTA – CALABARZON will be benchmarking tourism destination within the region, featuring the five provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon in order to create and solidify a long-term plan of promoting its campaign: “ONE REGION, ONE DESTINATION. COME, VISIT CALABARZON!” The first invitation is on Oct. 28, 2015 at the ecotourism site of San Nicolas, Batangas including the Lava Walk, Crater and Pansipit River. If you have an existing tourism site and destination, and you would like to be included in their bench marking, please feel free to send an email at email@example.com.
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© 2015 LAF