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PIA Press Release

Tourism players work on new destinations

By Prix D. Banzon

Davao City (8 September) -- Key players of the tourism industry getting the cue from tourists who are looking for new destinations fast track the completion of a new package that will bring them (tourists) from south to west of must see attractions and in the other parts of Mindanao.

Mindanao Tourism Council (MinTC) president Dindo Ilagan said they are short of new destinations because most visitors are looking for something new and adventurous rather than the usual package of white sand beaches and diving sites that operators usually offer.

The MinTC just concluded a walk of the package that they are conceptualizing and Ilagan said they noticed some hitches especially in the waiting time at Mukas Port where it would take too long for the travelers to wait for them to proceed to their destination.

Given this Ilagan said the MinTC will be coming up with a resolution and discuss this concern with the Philippine Ports Authority that there will fast lanes for tourists vans and buses.

He said tourists has a schedule to follow and delays like this would cause inconvenience and would prevent them from completing the whole package as well deprive them of visiting the destinations that they have chosen because of time constraints.

Lack of signages is also another issue that we noticed although he said that during the last Mindanao Tourism Summit held in Davao City he said these were among the recommendations that they submitted to the Department of Tourism.

The DOT right now is working on it already even as he said that Tourism Secretary Ace Durano assured them of acting on their concern.

Ilagan also said that the package they are drawing is also for the people in the island because they wanted the Mindanaoans to also see for themselves what the different places of Mindanao could offer to them.

He said best sites, new ones and unexplored destinations are a plenty around Mindanao and for us in the tourism industry they wanted the people in the island to explore this.

He cited for instance that people in Western Mindanao could come to Southern Mindanao and try the long zipline and the white water rafting along the Cagayan River while those from the south could visit the other side of Mindanao and enjoy and explore among others the amusement park in Dapitan and other historical sites like the Rizal Shrine and also the Museum in Cagayan de Oro City along the way.

"Many are wanting a Safari Adventure and we have that here in Bukidnon for real compared to some night safari abroad na gawa gawa lang. The Samal Island is also one good destination to visit," he said.

He said these are just one of the aspects that the Council is trying to put in place because tourism is not only for foreign tourists, because most of those coming to places and make the industry moving is the domestic tourism.

Meanwhile Davao del Norte Provincial Tourism Council president Araceli Ayuste said with the familiarization tour that they had just conducted they will be offering to domestic tourists the "Mindanaoans Travel within Mindanao " for a 3 days and 2 nights package.

With Davao City as jump off site she said they estimated a package of P6, 000 to include free transportation, accomodation in Dakak and six meals plus stop over to tourist sites like Seagull Mountain Resort, the Museum of Three Cultures, Macahambus Cave, MacArthur's Marker, Gloria de Dapitan Fantyland.

She said this is just among the packages that they have conceptualized as they will continue to work on other packages and try the other league during the International Surfing Cup in Siargao Island on October 24-26, 2009.

The other packages would be towards Sarangani, South Cotabato, Camiguin, Marawi City and Zamboanga City.

On the other hand Ilagan said the MinTC will present project proposals to select fundin agencies to help the council undertake various flagship programs such as establishment of its office in Davao City, equipment acquisition, construction of tourist assistance centers and instituional linkages among tourism-related industries.

The MinTC was organized in response to call for an action-oriented and collaborative convergencen among key private players to work together with the government sector. (PIA) [top]

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