Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, chair of the Mindanao Economic Development C Council, said Monday they were preparing tour packages featuring Region 12's "world-class" tourism and investment destinations for the meeting, one of the biggest gahering of the sub-region's senior officials and ministers.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato and the cities of Koronadal, General Santos, Kidapawan, Cotabato and Tacurong.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes earlier announced that the provincial government was hosting the upcoming BIMP-EAGA events.
In July last year, the province also hosted the sub-regional group's tourism cluster meeting.
Leyretana said the Senior Officers Meeting will be a gathering of the EAGA’s ministers and other government leaders coming from the BIMP-EAGA.
He said local government executives from the areas covered by BIMP-EAGA will attend the Local Government Forum.
Leyretana said they will tap the international-standard airport here as the main entry point of the visiting dignitaries and other delegates.
"We will show them that we have an international-standard airport in this part of Mindanao. Just imagine the impact of that experience," he said at the 19th regular meeting of the Regional Development Council in Alabel, Sarangani Monday morning.
From the airport, Leyretana said the visitors may visit business and tourism attractions such as the famed Kalsangi golf course in Polomolok and the lake resort town of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, the city's tuna canneries and the modern fishing port complex and the white sand beaches and diving spots in Glan and Maasim towns in Sarangani province.
The other top tourism destinations in the region are the Mt. Apo forest park in Kidapawan City and Cotabato province and the bird sanctuary in Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat.
Sohura Dimaampao, Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 12 director, said they are will prepare itineraries for the tours of the visiting dignitaries and other delegates based the available tour packages in the region.
"We have ready tour packages and we can arrange the tours anytime," she said.
The DOT earlier embarked on a long-term tourism development program for the region, focusing on business and eco-tourism.
It is currently developing Mt. Apo in Kidapawan City, the three lakes of Lake Sebu town and the white sand beaches of Gumasa in Glan as the region's anchor tourism destinations.(Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)