Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo joined hundreds of thousands tourists and spectators that flocked to Davao City for the recently concluded Kadayawan 2016 festivities, to seek stakeholders’ support for a Mindanao tourism agenda.
She arrived in Davao amid the weeklong celebration of Kadayawan 2016 after lobbying support from Filipino-American communities and businessmen in San Francisco and New Jersey during her first Official Visit to the US from 13-15 August 2016.
According to Secretary Teo, the DOT has started steering its tourism policy directions for Mindanao underscoring a more inclusive tourism development for the country.
DOT Mindanao Officer-in-Charge Eden Josephine David, who organized all the tourism chief’s meeting in Davao City, said the DOT intends to make the current international attention on Davao into a major turning point for Mindanao tourism.
“The interest in Davao is really high these days, as people want to see how then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has managed the city,” she said in reference to increasing visitor arrivals in Davao City at the turn of the Duterte presidency.
The incoming Assistant Secretary said the DOT is banking on the new government administration’s plan to implement the Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure Network as part of its revitalized infrastructure spending, to help address the connectivity and infrastructure gap of the region.
Among the immediate plans of the DOT Mindanao is to push the Samal-Davao City connecting bridge project to address the growing number of island visitors. The DOT and the Department of Works and Highways convergence program for road network development and tourism infrastructure is also expected to get a boost under Secretary Teo and Secretary Mark Villar’s active partnership.
Marco Polo Davao ‘s Dottie Viajar Wurgler-Cronin, who had a brief meeting with Secretary Teo at the sidelines of Kadayawan 2016, said she is confident that “Davao and the entire Mindanao region would be given more attention now that we have a tourism secretary from the region.” Without discounting other regions, she expects a “better understanding of what we have and can offer from this region,” the first Filipina general manager of Marco Polo Davao said of Secretary Teo’s leadership, calling her as the “perfect representative” for Mindanao tourism.
DEE A. MANDIGMA
Media and Communications Service
Philippine Department of Tourism
351 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., 1200