Mindanao tourism players prepare new concepts, designs for Kuching Travel Expo
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (15 August) -- Key tourism industry players in Mindanao are preparing for new packages which they will launch during the Travel Expo in Kuching this year as this will position the island to new markets.
BIMP EAGA Tourism Council chair Mary Ann Montemayor in an interview during the opening of the Mindanao Trade Expo at the Entertainment Plaza of SM City Davao said tourism players in Mindanao need to prepare new concepts and designs.
"With the opening of new air routes, we need to jump into the band wagon and be ready," she said.
Montemayor said that within the BIMP EAGA region, Kota-Kinabalu (KK) is already a made market and has emerged as the capital of the sub-region.
She said Kota Kinabalu has the market and an established route and that once Davao is connected, the city will benefit from it.
Kota Kinbalu she said put on hold tourism related activities because their additional 3,000 hotel rooms will still be ready by the end of this year, however, despite this effort, they still would have shortfall of rooms.
She said once Mindanao gets connected then the surplus of KK will go to the island.
"The KK route would allow us also to provide Shanghai tourists to come to Davao, the city being a leisure destination," she said.
Montemayor said that airlines will only move if products are ready.
She said talks are ongoing with the airline company and this will be known within the year so the route would start serving tourists.
Although she did not disclosed what airline company will be tapped, she said three airline companies have signified to take the route and that talks are ongoing.
Meanwhile, she said works are also being done for the island to be connected to Brunei that will bring the long haul market especially for overseas Filipino workers.
She said the OFWs, mostly from Mindanao have still to go to Clark to take the Air Asia for their exit.
"If we can get this connection, these workers can save on their domestic fares and this is a big percentage that they could save on," she said.
"We are confident that Davao could be linked to KK and Brunei and we are hopeful with all our efforts directed to opening of more new air routes," she added. (PIA XI) [top]