Philippine travel channel targets foreign markets

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MANILA--Lakbay TV, the country's first and only cable channel devoted to Philippine travel, has finalized arrangements with a satellite system network that will link it to cable subscribers in 120 countries. "Lakbay" is the Tagalog word for travel.

Lakbay TV Director Caloy Abrera says the channel's major target markets are Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Eastern Europe. The satellite connection will respond to the needs of travelers, both domestic and foreign, for information on local destinations with detailed insights on local culture and traditions.

Its programs will also be a regular feature on The Filipino Channel, beamed to key cities on the U.S.

Some of Lakbay TV's regular programs include "My Town," a visual walking tour of the best a particular town has to offer from the perspective of a local resident; "On the Road," which highlights countryside trips; and the "Balikbayan Trail," which chronicles a Filipino's rediscovery of his roots.

The channel is also linked to Lakbay Net, a cyberbooking service where travelers can get information on destinations and arrange reservations with accredited establishments. So far, ithe Web site averages 165,000 hits per month.

Copyright August 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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