DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 11 December) – Demand for Chinese-speaking tour guides is expected to grow with the opening of direct flights between Davao City and Quanzhou, China by Xiamen Airlines on December 18, City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson said on Tuesday.
She said the city expects to welcome more Chinese – both tourists and investors – after the launch of the thrice weekly flights next week, more than a year after Davao signed a sister city agreement with Jinjiang, Quanzhou in Fujian province.
“This also opens more opportunities in terms of answering needs for more Mandarin-speaking tour guides, destinations and accommodations,” she said.
She said the city has two existing accredited tour guides fluent in Mandarin.
The tourism chief added they are currently looking for more individuals who are willing to be trained to become guides.
Xiamen Airlines-Philippines said in a letter sent to members of the Davao media last December 4 that the firm is launching the new route to “provide an efficient and effective transport service to link the two cities.”
The letter said Davao is the “pioneer and model” of China’s cooperation with different areas being the Philippine city that has one of the closest cooperation with China.
It said the signing of Davao-Jinjiang sister city agreement aims to foster “bilateral cultural and economic exchange and promote tourism between the two cities.”
“Davao has been an integral part of China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, in which global infrastructure and international economic development are promoted,” it added.
On October 28, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Group launched a direct four times a week Davao-Hong Kong flight while the Consul General’s Office of the People’s Republic of China opened on the same day.
The consular office started accepting visa applications on December 10.
Chinese tourists are currently the third highest market of the city. The first are Americans followed by the Japanese, according to a report from the CTO. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)