Le Tour de Filipinas included in Department of Tourism campaign for 2015
Le Tour de Filipinas chairman Bert Lina says he is pleased that the cycling event, the only Asia Tour race in the Philippines, is being recognized for its contribution to tourism in the country. 

LE Tour de Filipinas has earned its niche in tourism promotion after the Department of Tourism included the international cycling race in its “Visit the Philippines Year” program.

The four-stage Tour has been listed with 10 other events under the DOT’s “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign.

DOT’s marketing arm Tourism Promotions Board is heading a year-long campaign aimed at encouraging local and foreign tourists to participate in different events while highlighting various destinations and attractions all over the country.

The official VPY 2015 website has been launched featuring events, programs, festivals, among others at www.phl2015.itsmorefuninthephilippines.com. The Le Tour de Filipinas and other sporting events in the program are featured in the website http://visitph2015.com/events/category/sports-adventure-and-eco-tourism.

“This is a major development for the Le Tour de Filipinas, which will run its sixth edition in February,” said Bert Lina, chairman of both Le Tour de Filipinas and PhilCycling. “This is proof that our race is recognized for its contribution in the promotion not only of cycling as a sport but also in terms of tourism.”

The 2015 edition will be staged February 1 to 4 — with Stage One a 126 kilometer Balanga-Balanga ride followed by the 153.75-km Stage Two from Balanga to Iba in Zambales, the 149.34-km Iba to Lingayen Pangasinan Stage Three and a 101-km trek to Baguio City via Kennon Road for Stage Four.

Le Tour de Filipinas is the only road race included in the Asia Tour calendar of the world cycling governing body Union Cycliste Internationale.

Eighteen foreign teams have applied for inclusion in the field, but the organizing Ube Media will be limiting participation to 15 teams of five riders each, including the national pool of PhilCycling.

The other sports events in the VPY 2015 program are the Sixth International Martial Arts and Games and Eighth International Martial Arts Congress, Mr. Apo Trek, Ninth Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival, Color Manila Run, 15th Philippine Hobie Challenge, Safeguard 5150 Triathlon, Xterra Albay Off-Road Triathlon Series, Regent 5150 Triathlon, Ironman 70.3 Philippines and Nestle Beach Volleyball.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports