Tag Archives: Tourism

New Singapore service to boost Mindanao tourism

Foreign tourists make up a small percentage of total visitor arrivals in the region, accounting for only about 6% of the 2.29 million recorded in 2014, based on data from the Department of Tourism (DoT).

DoT Regional director Roberto P. Alabado III said the agency is optimistic that the number will increase with the Cebu Air, Inc. unit’s twice-a-week service from the Singapore Changi Airport, which is a major international hub.

The Singapore-Davao route, for which Cebu Pacific launched a service in 2008 but discontinued, is currently covered solely by SilkAir (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, with nine flights a week.

Mr. Alabado said a delegation composed of representatives from the DoT, Davao City Tourism Office, Cebu Air and other private sector tourism stakeholders went to Singapore last week to “update” the Singapore market on Davao Region’s offerings.

“(We) did a product update and introduced to the Singapore business and tourism industry the new (Cebu Pacific) Davao-Singapore (flights) and oriented the Singaporeans what to expect here in Davao City,” Mr. Alabado said.

He said they emphasized the region’s eco-adventure and eco-tourism attractions, including mountain destinations and scuba diving, as well as food and cultural sites.

Mr. Alabado said the agency also received inquiries from private tour operators about halal offerings, which could bring in more Muslim visitors from various parts of Asia.

The DoT official admitted that strictly halal establishments have yet to be identified as they are still waiting for the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) from the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos (NMCF) on proper procedures for halal certification.

However, he stressed: “There are some establishments here that practice halal since 10% of our population here is Muslim,” Mr. Alabado said.

Overall, Mr. Alabado said the agency is optimistic that the additional air services will boost tourism in the region.

“We have created an impact and I hope business-to-business transaction would result to an increase in visitors coming from Singapore,” he said.

At the same time, Mr. Alabado said it is banking on the continued promotion of Davao City as a MICE (meeting, incentive, conference, exhibition) venue to keep visitors coming despite the setback from the still unresolved kidnapping incident in neighboring Samal Island in late September.

“We have to take extra care now on what’s happening. We have talked to the (tourism) properties and resorts, and they said that they were affected by the incident,” he said, noting that local government units and police and military authorities have strengthened security measures in the region.

The DoT, he said, is giving an “extra push” in marketing Davao City and Samal Island, which offers beach destinations that the city does not have, as a combined destination.

“The tourists take faith in our efforts and they continue to come here, and what happened in Samal was just a temporary setback,” he said. — Maya M. Padillo

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DTI pushes Mindanao as investment destination

The Philippine Star
By Louella Desiderio
July 8, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging investors to invest in Mindanao given huge opportunities in agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.

The Trade department said Mindanao offers investment opportunities and a significant contributor to the country’s export performance and economic development.

“Mindanao is in a special position to provide solid support system to export growth and economic development,” Trade Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo Jr. was quoted as saying during a recent investment conference organized by the DTI through its Regional Operations Development Group in partnership with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

“The opportunities in Mindanao are so meaningful in this administration, government sectors work together and support priority in agriculture, agro-industrial food processing, manufacturing and even tourism,” he said.

Mindanao, he said, should be considered by investors interested in agriculture given the island group’s land area.

Manalo noted that eight of the top 10 provinces producing coconut which is a global favorite, are in Mindanao.
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He noted that coco coir and peat are traditional export favorites.

Value added products like desiccated coconut, virgin coconut oil, and coconut water also have strong demand from foreign markets.

Manalo said the coconut industry offers huge investment opportunity given rising consumer demand for coconut based food ingredients.

Apart from coconut, he said the carrageenan which is extracted from a variety of seaweeds, also offers investment opportunities.

“Carageenan has many uses and its main application is on food products where it is used primarily for its gellying and thickening properties. Seaweed production is an integral part of the Mindanao industry cluster,” he said.

Opportunities are likewise available in other tropical fruits like mangosteen, banana, pineapple and papaya, which all enjoy huge demand overseas.

The region, the DTI said, will also be a good investment destination for manufacturing and tourism.