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PIA Press Release

Tourism players see media role in promoting Davao region

by RG Alama

Davao City (7 January) -- Stakeholders of the tourism industry in Davao see the importance of media's role in helping the tourism industry in the region struck by negative events.

"We hope the media can help us, many people think that Mindanao is a no-no place for them, we can do our part in promoting Mindanao as a destination but you can do your part in bringing good publicity." Said Wanda Teo, secretary of the Tourism Congress Board of Trustees during their guesting at the Club 888 media forum at the Eagles Bar of the Marco Polo Davao yesterday (Jan. 6).

The recent aftermath of the gruesome November 23 massacre, in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao has affected again Mindanao 's image as one of the main tourism destinations in the country.

Susan Palad, Vice-President for Mindanao of the Tourism Congress Board of Trustees said that immediately after the massacre there were some cancellations in reservations of hotel rooms and function areas, though there were no reports on cancellations of big conventions.

Although she said that there is no reliable data to really gauge the effects of the massacre on local tourism. However travel advisories issued on the aftermath of the massacre have affected the foreign tourism market. Palad cited a big wedding of a British couple supposedly to be held in Davao which was cancelled because of the travel advisory and the hesitance of insurance companies to cover the travel insurance of the attendees.

Palad also urged the media for more write-ups about destinations and festivals about Mindanao, as she noted that the news had been saturated by negative publicity.

Gene Bangayan, Treasurer of the Congress' Board of Trustees, said that in media reports there should be a geographical description of the place since the place where the event happened occurred very far away from prime tourism destinations.

She said that Davao is aiming to promote itself for MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) as the group is busying on planning sessions on how to sell Davao during this coming 2010 Philippine MICE conference this February in Subic.

Teo, Bangayan and Palad are newly-elected officers in the Board of Trustees of the recently-created Tourism Congress which was created under the mandate of RA 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009. The congress is the private sector consultative body which will assist the Department of Tourism in the coordination of its tourism policies. (PIA XI) [top]

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