DOT, TPB’s PHILIPPINE MOTORCYCLE TOURISM HITS THE ROAD, TRAVEL INDUSTRY BOUNCES BACK
Manila, Philippines – Over 250 riders revved up and hopped on the Philippine Motorcycle Tourism (PMT) two-day ride which kicked-off at Rizal Park, Manila and covered Taal Lake Loop (Cavite-Batangas) and Laguna Lake Loop (Rizal-Laguna-Quezon), highlighting CALABARZON’s tourist spots over the weekend, Nov. 20 – 21.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, in partnership with Breakfast Ride Community, DOT Region IV-A and different local government units (LGUs) of CALABARZON, spearheaded the innovative program to bring back the confidence of the public to travel within the country, upholding new normal health and safety protocols, on two wheels.
“Our current efforts are focused on boosting domestic tourism as a way for the tourism industry and the economy to recover. In line with this, motorcycle riders become our domestic tourism ambassadors to aid us in promoting fun and safe travel around the country. We are now on the road to sustain recovery and with the help of our riders, motorcycle clubs and associations, the tourism industry will be back in full swing in no time,” said Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat in her keynote address.
PMT Prioritizes Safety, Skills, Adventure Tourism
As part of PMT’s priorities and preparations prior to the kick-off ride, participants both onsite and online attended the hybrid webinar which was aired from the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) and made virtually available through an online platform, with more than 3,000 livestream views on social media, November 19.
The said webinar equipped motorcycle riders and enthusiasts with knowledge on safe riding, off-road driving techniques and skills, and adventure tourism through the expertise of Rod Cruz of the Arangkada Riders’ Alliance, Gen. Fernando Paez of the Law Enforcer Riders’ Association of the Philippines, and Mel Aquino of the Yamaha Off-Road Training Camp.
“Our community is privileged to be part of the organizing committee for the kick-off of this program. We are elated for the support of the tourism industry because we really want this to take-off. Just the news that destinations are open for motorcycle tourism will signal all riders to go around, see places, and eat in restaurants — if you pool together the income generated by millions of riders around the country, it will be a big business opportunity for tourism,” said Breakfast Ride Community Head Raymon Gabriel.
CALABARZON in the Loop
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, TPB Chief Operating Officer (COO) Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, Philippine Motorcycle Tourism Advocate and former Senator JV Ejercito, DENR Undersecretary Ernesto Adobo, Jr., Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Lt. Gen. Dionardo Carlos, DOT CALABARZON Regional Director Maritess Castro and DOT Assistant Secretary Woodrow Maquiling sent off the PMT riders from participating motorcycle clubs and associations for the CALABARZON Ride composed of two major loops.
The Taal Lake Loop (Cavite-Batangas) included stops in Maragondon (Habi of Maragondon, Simbahan ng Maragondon, Caingin River), Tagaytay, Taal (Basilica San Martin De Tours, Marcella Agoncillo Historical Landmark, Apacible Historical Landmark), San Juan (Laiya), Lipa (Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Church), Mataasnakahoy (My Honey’s Farm), Sto. Tomas (National Shrine of Padre Pio), and Sta. Rosa (Nuvali Park).
On the other hand, the Laguna Lake Loop (Rizal-Laguna-Quezon) covered Antipolo (Antipolo Cathedral, Hinulugang Taktak) Tanay (Daranak Falls), Pililia (Pililia Windmills, Pakil (St. Peter of Alcantara Parish Church), Paete, Luisiana (pandan weaving), Lucban (Kamay ni Hesus), San Juan (Laiya), Dolores (Bangkong Kahoy Valley), San Pablo City (Sulyap Gallery Cafe), and Sta. Rosa Nuvali Park.
Cebu MotoVlogger and Philippine Motorcycle Tourism Ambassador Jet Lee expressed her appreciation to TPB and DOT’s efforts in revitalizing the travel industry through motorcycle tourism. “Everyone knows I’m very passionate about riding because it’s my outlet. Every time I hit the road, I feel really free. I appreciate that DOT and TPB are doing their best to help the tourism bounce back and the consider motorcycle tourism as a viable market. I am excited to inspire and encourage other people to try the adventure of motorcycle riding,” said Lee.
Full Speed Ahead for PMT
With the gradual easing of travel restrictions and the resumption of leisure travel across diverse local destinations, TPB and DOT are optimistic that the launching of the PMT will help kickstart domestic tourism and the local economy in the new normal as riders take the wheel in promoting Philippine tourist spots and helping local businesses and tour operators recover from the pandemic’s effect on their livelihood.
Moreover, several DOT regional offices have included the development of motorcycle tourism circuits in the Cordilleras, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley and Central Visayas.
Aris Ilagan of TopBikes, shared his regained enthusiasm to explore different parts of the country more freely once again on two wheels. “After being stuck indoors for so long, this is a welcome opportunity for the riding community. Being able to go wherever the wind takes us is very important for riders. For almost two years, we have limited opportunity to do it and now we are slowly and safely getting back to riding again,” stated Ilagan.
The PMT activities were conducted in accordance with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) guidelines. Health and safety protocols were strictly observed during the event and only fully-vaccinated individuals were permitted to join onsite.
Anthea Reine Q. Ifurung
Chief, Media Relations and Communications Division