DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 7 Dec) – The Davao Region is expecting an increase in the number of Singaporean tourists as budget airline Cebu Pacific will inaugurate twice weekly its Davao-Singapore direct flight on December 17.
Speaking during Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City, City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head Lisette Marques told reporters that they are closely working with their counterparts in the tourism sector in Singapore in promoting the raw and fresh destinations not only of the city but also of the Davao Region.
From November 23 to November 25, she said they met with 25 Singaporean tour operators for a business matching with the stakeholders coming from the region “to give them details about what we have to offer in getting them interested to go here.”
She added this will also strengthen the city’s bid in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) not only as a tourism destination but also as an investment destination since the businessmen will always consider the cost of travel going to and from the city.
“One of the things that the BIMP-EAGA business conference discussed would always be the kind of fees we impose on airlines to entice tourists to come,” she added.
The city’s top five tourist markets are Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Americans, and Australians, while Singaporeans ranked seventh being overtaken by Indians at sixth who come to Davao for schooling.
“With the new route, we would like to see more Singaporeans with our raw destinations,” she added.
In a press conference last month, Department of Tourism (DOT) 11 director Roberto Alabado III said the new route serviced by the Lance Gokongwei-led airline company will be beneficial to the growth of the region’s tourism because Singapore is known as a gateway to other countries, whose tourists might be encouraged to come visit the city via its direct flight.
He said travel operators in the city are already preparing tour packages that will cater specifically to Singaporean markets. The Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge during summer of next year will be positioned for the same markets as well, according to Alabado.