Tourism sector starts 'Byahe Ta Mindanaw'
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (6 October) -- 'Byahe Ta Mindanao' started its first road trip to key destinations of Northern and Western Mindanao bringing together travel and tour operators and the media for a familiarization tour that would promote and sustain local travel within Mindanao.
It is a project of Mindanao Tourism Council (MinTC) and the Davao Council of Tour Operators and Allied Agencies aimed to respond to the clamor of promoting and protecting the interest of Mindanao tourism through collaboration with the key players of the tourism industry.
MinTC President Araceli Ayuste bared that it is through partnership with the private industry players, in coordination with the Department of Tourism that Mindanao destinations will be saleable locally and globally.
Byahe Ta Mindanaw gathered travel and tour operators, officers of the MinTC, and media practitioners to experience themselves the potential sites worth to be included in a travel package.
For its first leg held last October 2 to 4, the participants visited key areas like Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, Oroquieta, Ozamis, and Dapitan.
Travel operators, together with the MinTC will then create tour packages that would cover these areas of Northern and Western Mindanao.
Ayuste said that the travel operators had seen the potentials of tour destinations like Dapitan's latest attraction, the Gloria's Fantasyland, Mindanao's version of Disneyland. This theme park offers outdoor mobile amusement rides.
Chato Aranda, President of the DCTTAA, said that the organization is coming up with a tour package designed for local and foreign travelers that would bring them to Gloria's Fantasyland, Dakak Beach Resort, Rivercruise Dining, and the historical place of Jose Rizal's exile.
The tour package would also include an overnight-stay in Cagayan de Oro and a visit to tourist sites like the Gardens of Malasag and Museum of Three Tribes.
Aranda added that the tour operators would make it affordable such that it would interest students for educational field trips and leisure trip for local and foreign tourists.
She is optimistic that through the support of travel and tour operators, key destinations in Mindanao will be attractive to the public.
Dindo Ilagan, Chairperson of MinTC, said that it is through this initiative that Mindanawons would lift tourism despite negative connotations of the island brought about by the peace conflict.
He also announced that after this Northern-Western Mindanao leg of Byahe ta Mindanaw, the council will also explore key areas in Southern, Eastern, and Western Mindanao to be given the same promotion. (PIA XI) [top]