DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 August) – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is pushing for direct flights between Davao City and Taiwan, DOT-Davao director Tanya Rabat-Tan said.
Tan told reporters that DOT-Davao had recently welcomed eight Taiwanese travel agents and a representative from Singapore’s Tiger Airways, who visited to explore the popular tourist spots of the city.
She claimed the Taiwanese tour operators were impressed with Davao.
“They want to bring their travel agents because they are the ones who are going to promote Davao to Taiwan. They saw the potential. In fact, they were impressed. They said Davao surpassed their expectation,” she said.
Last July, Taiwan announced another one-year of the visa-free privilege granted to Filipino nationals from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020.
DOT-Davao recorded around 1.5 million visitors for the first half of 2019, higher compared to the 900,000 visitors recorded in the same period last year, according to Tan.
Tan added it’s still unclear when the Davao-Taiwan direct connectivity would be established but she hopes that chartered flights be launched between the two destinations before the regular flights to see the viability.
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.
City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson said she welcomes the effort of the DOT in pushing for Davao-Taiwan direct connectivity but urged the tourism agency to “spearhead the promotions of the Davao Region in Taiwan and other cities where we have flights.”
“This new route should provide more opportunities for investments and, at the same, increase foreign arrivals,” she said.
Earlier, Tecson lamented that Davao was being left out in the tourism promotion efforts of the Tourism Promotion Board of the DOT despite the direct flights from the city to new international destinations.
“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 www.tbp.gov.ph, 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.” (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)