Davao dad sees benefit in Manado's World Ocean Summit
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (22 January) -- The World Ocean Summit in Manado, Indonesia on May 11-15, 2009 is an opportunity that travel and tour operators of Davao must consider as early as now.
Davao City council committee chair Councilor Peter Laviņa on trade and commerce said that Davao City should take advantage of this important event and cash in on its ripple effects across the Celebes Sea.
He said Davao may be considered as the "northern gateway" to Manado. North Sulawesi's Sam Ratulangi Airport can be reached through Jakarta and Bali to its south, via Singapore to its west and Davao to the north.
He said thousands of participants to the conference - heads of states, top scientists and academicians, environmentalists, NGOs, media and others will be flying to Manado and Davao can offer its northern passage.
"By that time, Davao has direct flights from Hongkong and Taipei (Cebu Pacific) which could play as hub for participants flying in from Europe, north Asia and North America. The route is being service now by Merpati Airlines", he said.
There will be plenty of opportunities for pre and post conference activities around the month of May and Davao can hold or host a number of these to take advantage of the presence of eminent personalities, Laviņa added.
He said these could be special tours and exposure trips to the participants to the city showcasing its best practices in marine conservation like the turtle sanctuary, mangrove forest and the Davao Gulf Development initiative.
"Another is the holding of a sort of Davao-Manado Yacht Race or Davao-Manado fluvial parade in time of the opening of the conference. The Celebes Sea is the future Caribbean and a Davao-Manado cruise trip could be developed out of this idea," he said.
Laviņa is pushing that Davao City take advantage of this big event as he said that the city should not miss this opportunity to play a supporting role with Manado being the sister city of Davao.
He said once there will be public awareness, the support could be generated and this could be a big challenge as well to the tourism industry. (PIA) [top]