Capitalizing on the tourism potential of some of the country’s hidden gems, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and various motorcycle rider clubs in the Philippines, will soon kick off a motorcycle tourism caravan in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat exclusively told the Manila Bulletin that the event will serve as an opportunity to showcase hard-to-reach and rarely visited tourist sites across the country which will be participated in by motorcycle enthusiasts, as well as media bloggers and influencer riders.
“Various motorcycle groups offered to partner with us to push domestic tourism. This also came timely, since with limits in transport capacity, our motorcycle riders have more flexibility in going on road trips while observing social distancing since they ride alone,” she said.
“I appreciated the breadth of scenery our motorcycle riders have shared through their raw photos and videos, and we thought these could help a lot in promoting our destinations.”
Puyat added the partnership with various motorcycle groups will seek to stir interest among local travelers to appreciate and also take a trip to those sites and locations which in turn they will help promote.
She said the campaign will stimulate economic activity across the value chain by helping gas stations, the eating places or restaurants along the way, accommodation facilities for those spending a few nights on the road, generating awareness on local crafts, among others.
The Motorcycle Tourism Caravan, also known as “MOTOURISMO”, primarily aims to help rebuild the traveling public’s confidence to travel domestically and eventually for the tourism industry to bounce back from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to TPB, this will encourage more motorcycle sports enthusiasts to engage in a motorsports tourism activity as a potential niche tourism product.
“There are many organizations in the country for motorbike enthusiasts who are up for the challenge of discovering the less traveled Philippines destinations,” it said.
The sports tourism event will officially kick off this November for the Luzon Edition, which will be followed by the Visayas leg in January 2021 and Mindanao leg in March also next year.
The Luzon leg was divided into three categories: Epic Northern Luzon where 250 riders will traverse a 1,408-km ride in several provinces in Ilocos region; Micro Laguna Lake where 250 riders will explore 295-km distance; and Micro Batangas-Cavite where 250 riders will also traverse 385-km distance in two provinces in Region IV-A.
The groups will all start simultaneously at the Kilometer Zero at Rizal Park in Manila.
The Epic Eastern Visayas Loop, on the other hand, will require riders to ride through a 1,408-km distance which will kick start at Plaza Libertad in Tacloban City, while the Epic Mindanao East Coast Loop offers a long 1,711-km distance ride beginning in Cagayan De Oro City.
Like any other tourism revenue-driven sports activity, motorcycle tourism is considered a profiler of the economy, according to TPB.
“As an archipelago with more than half of its roads unpaved, the Philippines is a favorite destination, especially for the adventurous riders who like rough terrain. Fortunately, there are also relatively easier terrains for the less experienced riders who want to go on a long motorcycle ride across the country,” it said.
With an average of two-night and three-day out-of-town motor riding activity, single riders will have an estimated expenditure of P18,000 attributed to food, fuel, accommodation, toll fees, and others.
TPB also assured that the event will also generate opportunities for tour operator participants to create new tour programs to be offered to both domestic and international tourists, as well as to have an increased awareness of environmental protection and sustainable tourism.