New DOT office to spur Mindanao tourism

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo has given the green light to the creation of a Mindanao office that will implement the sustainable and inclusive tourism agenda for the region. The Department of Tourism head noted that exotic Mindanao has for decades lagged behind Luzon, Visayas in terms of international and domestic tourist arrivals. "Despite its abundant natural resources, rich culture, breath taking views and pristine beaches, Mindanao has not received due attention and, consequently, its fair share of visitor arrivals. With the creation of a DoT Mindanao office, the region where President Rodrigo Duterte hails from will get the promotion it deserves," said Teo. Teo has named freshly-minted Assistant Secretary Eden David, a native Mindanaoan, to take the helm at the new Davao City-based office. David has been engaged in tourism business for 18 years, during which she rose from the ranks until being tapped as Tourism Marketing and Promotions office of Davao region. "I welcome the challenge of putting Mindanao in a better position in terms of tourism administration, infrastructure development and promotions" said David. David said the region has the potential to be a world-class tourist destination although it requires substantial development work."First in the order of things, we have to improve access and enhance tourism infrastructure. The basic infrastructure support has to be in place to usher in the needed developments for tourism to flourish in the island. Access is primordial to get to the tourist spots via air, land and sea transport." Wasting no time, David has commenced with the programs on land and air connectivity. "Prioritizing roads that lead to tourist spots with no distinction of being a national or local road as long as this brings the tourists to the destination, will now be intensified with the goal of DOT and DPWH in order to reach 80 percent of road connectivity in Mindanao," David said. A series of air connectivity project is in full swing for at least four gateways namely Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Zamboanga City and Siargao."The objective is to build on the routes development for the airlines to take on the said connectivity requirement thus investing in the flights to bring in the travellers direct to the location from the feeder countries like Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and Korea, to name a few." David said. David is also keen on further developing the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysian- Philippines (BIMP) Growth Area where the Philippines heads the Joint Tourism Development Cluster.The BIMP Eaga is listed as part of the top ten priorities of the new administration. -

Source: Philippine Information Agency