Mindanao is being marketed as mainstream destination
Despite security concerns in the area, the Philippines’ Department of Tourism is focusing on developing Mindanao as a tourist destination. Mindanao is currently being marketed as a mainstream destination in the country alongside Bohol and Palawan in the Philippines’ promotions in Europe.
The priority is to boost accessibility by encouraging international commercial and charter flights to come to Davao, Mindanao’s gateway and most urban destination, said assistant tourism secretary Art Boncato.
South Korean carriers Air Busan, Jeju Air and Jin Air are considering stopping in Davao, he said. Around 5,000 South Koreans live in the city and tourist arrivals from South Korea are on the rise.
SilkAir, the only foreign carrier flying to Davao, raised its frequencies this month from five to six per week from Singapore via Cebu.
Asked about the safety situation in Mindanao after the recent strife in Zamboanga, Boncato said: “It is most crucial […] to strengthen our local government units and local communities to respond.”
Tourism is a vehicle for peace, he stressed, and tourists would come to see Mindanao as peaceful, beautiful and worth the visit. “It’s a matter of positioning and sharing it with the rest of the world,” he said.