DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 Nov) – The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) has approved the P10-million budget for the crafting of the tourism master plan of Davao City.
In an interview on Monday, City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson told reporters that they hope they can immediately start working on the tourism master plan by first quarter of next year and complete it by second quarter.
She said they want all tourism stakeholders to participate in the drafting to make the master plan more inclusive that seeks to synergize all efforts of the tourism-related industry.
“We know tourism is a very fragmented industry. The accommodation sector, by itself, is an industry, tour operators is by itself an industry, transportation the same thing. We need the plan,” she said.
Tecson added they are also planning to intensify the city’s tourism roadshow internationally and domestically to increase the awareness of the tourists about the potentials of the city.
Internationally, the tourism official plans to hold roadshows in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and areas outside the region like Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.
On Japanese visitors, she said the travel advisory issued by the Japanese Embassy here has made the tour operators in Japan hesitant to come up with Davao tour packages.
This was according to the representatives of the biggest tour operators and association with whom they met during the four-day Davao City Investment and Tourism Roadshow in Japan held last October 16 to 20, Tecson said.
During the roadshow, the delegates from Davao, composed of representatives from both private and public sectors, visited Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama and Tokyo where they held business meetings with their counterparts.
Japan was among the countries that issued travel advisories immediately after government forces thwarted the planned attack of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in Bohol.
Tecson said Davao was placed under level 1, the same as Manila, Cebu and Palawan.
Despite this, she said they are inviting representatives from the Japan Tourism Association (JATA) and Overseas Tour Operator Association of Japan to visit the city to explore its potential tourism attractions.
“They are very happy about this because they are given the chance to see Davao better than just the place of the President. It goes to show there is a need to market Davao,” Tecson added.
“We are more than bananas and more than eagles,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)