Tourism Promotions Board urged to include Davao in int’l campaign

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Kaua’i County of Hawaii Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. show their signed sister city agreement on February 5, 2018 in Davao City. Carvalho said tourism and agriculture, particularly on cacao and coffee farming, can be areas that Davao and Kaua’i could work on together. Duterte, on the other hand, said both cities can “mutually benefit” from each other’s agriculture, tourism, culture and trade. MIndaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/01 July) – The Tourism Promotions Board should include Davao City in its international promotion campaign, City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson said on Monday.

Tecson was reacting to reports from delegates to local government-international investment and tourism roadshows that tour operators in Japan, Singapore and South Korea didn’t know about Davao as it was not among the places promoted by the board.

“How come they don’t promote us? They should include us? Ang nangyayari ngayon inaasa sa Davao City (what is happening is that it leaves everything to Davao City). We cannot do it alone because this is not only for the city but also for the whole region,” she said.

According to the agency’s website, the TPB, an attached agency of the Department of Tourism, markets and promotes “the Philippines domestically and internationally as a world-class tourism and meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) destination, in strategic partnership with private and public stakeholders to deliver a unique high-value experience for visitors, significantly contributing to increased arrivals, receipts, and investments to the country.”

Tecson said the TPB should promote Davao as a destination to help make the international flights more sustainable by luring in more foreign visitors, which comprise a measly share of the city’s total tourist arrivals.

According to the data released by the local tourism office on Monday, foreign tourist arrivals had only reached 78,254 or 7.5 percent of the 1,037,792 tourists from January to May 2019.

The tourism office recorded 939,094 domestic tourists or 90.48 percent and 20,444 visiting overseas Filipinos or 1.96 percent in the same period.

Tecson suggested to the TPB to not only look at the city’s foreign tourist arrivals before making a decision to include Davao in its international marketing promotions.

She said the agency’s help would complement the international investment and tourism roadshows of the local government to position Davao as a premier investment and tourism hub of the country.

The local tourism office targets to hit the target of 3 million arrivals this year from 2.39 million tourists last year.

The City Government held missions in Japan in 2017, Malaysia and Singapore last year, and South Korea in May 2019. The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. has also lined up international business missions to Japan in September and Australia in October.

Qatar Airways  launched a weekly Davao-Doha-Davao flight last June 18, the fourth international route of Davao after Davao-Singapore-Davao of SilkAir and Cebu Pacific, Davao-Hong Kong-Davao of Cathay Dragon, and Davao-Quanzhou-Davao of XiamenAir. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)