Government and private sector partnership to upgrade tourism facilities and transport infrastructure such as airports, seaports, roads, and bridges in Mindanao not only helps farmers, fisherfolk, and local industries; it also opens the region’s top destinations and attractions to the world. More and more domestic and foreign tourists are going to Mindanao to enjoy its resorts, beaches, mountains, and cultural sites, thus contributing to Mindanao’s economy.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has created a marketing communications program for Mindanao involving local and foreign media. A “special visit” for local and foreign travel journalists, especially from Asian markets such as Korea, Japan, and China, is being arranged. Tour operators are urged to sell adventure tourism activities such as spelunking, snorkeling, paragliding, wakeboarding, skimboarding, rock climbing, and diving.
The Household Surbey of Domestic Visitors, conducted by DOT and the National Statistics Office, showed that two of most frequently visited places in Mindanao last year were Misamis Oriental, with 806,000 domestic travelers, and Lanao del Norte, with 457,000. Northern Mindanao is an eco-tourism center with many attractions in Camiguin Island, Bukidnon, Iligan City, and Cagayan de Oro City. In the first half of this year, Davao City had 567,000 visitors. The entire Davao Region, which includes Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Compostela Valley, visitor arrivals are expected at 1.76 million this year. In Zamboanga Peninsula, the twin cities of Dipolog and Dapitan are popular among backpackers and nature lovers.
DOT and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are mandated under Republic Act 10560, signed on May 17, 2013, to develop road networks and infrastructure projects to support the tourism programs of local governments. The private sector is urged to invest in tourism-related businesses such as resorts, restaurants, transportation, tours and travel offices. Barangays are urged to produce local delicacies and quality souvenir items. DPWH funds road projects to link key tourism destinations in Mindanao.
We congratulate the Department of Tourism headed by Secretary Ramon R. Jimemez Jr., and Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio L. Singson for their unified, concerted effort to develop the Mindanao tourism sector in the Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY