Davao-Manado tourism B2B rakes in over P1-M sales

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DAVAO CITY — The joint tourism and business matching meeting organized to help boost the viability of Garuda Indonesia’s foray into Mindanao raked in over PHP1 million in negotiated sales, the Department of Tourism in Region 11 (DOT-11) said Tuesday.

“This sale is accumulated out of Davao-General Santos tours and hotel accommodation bookings in Davao during the business matching,” DOT-11 Tourism Operations Officer Kervin Kyle Elijay said in a press release.

DOT Assistant Secretary for Mindanao Myra Paz Abubakar lauded the initial success of the Davao–Manado Joint Tour Packaging Workshop and Business Matching, held in support of the recent revival of Davao-Manado air linkage.

Abubakar commended the people behind the business-to-business event, as well as the participants, for turning in PHP1.344 million in negotiated sales.

“My best wishes and congratulations to all. This is a very good development for the Philippines and the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) region. I hope that other airline companies will also see the potential of flights coming to and from the Mindanao,” said Abubakar, who is also the Philippine-EAGA Tourism Cluster national coordinator.

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), as the Philippine Coordinating Office for BIMP-EAGA (PCOBE), also expressed its gratitude to the DOT-11 and local tourism industry players for organizing the event.

MinDA Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro said the results of the event were promising to the revival of the Davao-Manado air connectivity.

“Let us work together, all Philippine-EAGA lead agencies, in creating economic activities that will spur more tourist arrivals between the two areas,” said Montenegro, adding that “We have to collectively do our part for the sustainability of the route.”

DOT-11 said it plans to visit Manado in November to bring the Davao tour operators for the tourism market matching with their Indonesian counterparts.

MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol underscored the importance of the air link as it strengthens the position of Davao as the gateway to Asean, boosting investment and tourism potentials of Mindanao and North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Piñol has also proposed for a two-day business and trade matching on October 28-29 in Manado to allow Mindanao agribusiness leaders to engage with their counterparts in North Sulawesi for potential export of fruits and other products. -PNA

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