Teo: Tourism to spur ‘Promise of Mindanao’ PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 August 2017 16:49

The promise of a better life for Mindanaoans is within reach if all sectors in the region come together and resolve to contribute, said Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo this week in meetings with tourism stakeholders.

“For our part, we will step up promotion of Mindanao destinations, thereby stimulate creation of jobs in Tine with our sustainable and inclusive tourism program,” said Teo during the two gatherings, one in Zamboanga City and the other in Davao City, with representatives from the local government units, community leaders, residents and travel operators.

‘’’Since the inception of the Duterte administration, we achieved record increases in international arrivals despite the many setbacks beyond our control. We proved that we are up to the challenge and we must keep the momentum going and actively participate in ushering the “Golden Age of Philippine tourism,” Teo stressed.

The DOT chief disclosed she has directed DOT regional offices to utilize the PHP5 million funds for tourism-related projects to complement improved connectivity with visitor markets abroad, and upgrade travel and accommodations services.

“I am also in close coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways to prioritize the construction and rehabilitation of roads leading to the tourist destinations in Mindanao, perhaps the most important of which would be the PHP1.9 billion Island Garden City of Samal Circumferential Road,” said Teo.

For the Zamboanga Peninsula, Teo told DOT-Region 9 Director Butch Blanco to assess the potentials and identify the challenges of visitor destinations in the area.

The DOT chief announced that the Zamboanga International Airport will house a new shop of the Duty-free Philippines to cater to international and domestic tourists.

Teo stressed that Mindanao can be showcased as a safe tourist haven despite the prevailing Martial Law and conflict situations in some remote areas.

The meetings in Zamboanga City and Davao City coincided with the dinner tributes to soldiers and policemen killed in action in the battle with terrorist rebels in Marawi City.

Joining the soldiers’ bereaved families and DOT officials were Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials and the officers of Department of National Defense (DND) Killed-in- Action or Wounded-m-Action (K1A-W1A) program.