By Mike U. Crismundo
DAVAO CITY, April 26 (PNA) -– The Davao Region Tourism Plan (DRTP) is eyeing to make Southern Mindanao to be a world-class tourism destination in the Asia-Pacific Region, this was learned on Sunday.
In a meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC), ranking tourism officials in the region presented the DRTP’s objective to make the region to be an anchor world-class destination of the country and also a gateway to Mindanao and to the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei/Indonesia/Malaysia/Philippines-East Asean Growth Area).
Southern Mindanao Tourism Regional Director Sonia Garcia said the DRTP envisions to make Southern Mindanao region not only a world-class tourism destination but also the most safe and secure place for tourists in the Philippine Archepilago.
The region’s tourism official said that high standard accommodation for tourists and standardized services are currently offered to tourists, as well as an island-to- highland destination highlighting on culture, adventure and nature with diving and golf.
Next week, 10 cultural villages within the region will start their respective unique cultural shows, said Director Garcia.
These cultural villages will also create and offer indigenous products to tourists. Some of these are weaves and beadings, she added.
DRTP also offers to tourists several scenic areas in the region, historical tour, cultural tourism, banana biz tour, eco-adventure tourism, culinary tourism and several other tourism destinations in the region.
A grant of at least Php 8 million from Senator Loren Legarda has been poured in for livelihood programs within the said cultural projects, it was learned.
Meanwhile, in preparation for the influx of tourists this summer, the RDC has enjoined all the local chief executives of all the cities and provinces of the Southern Mindanao region to establish showrooms for their indigenous products.
In the same RDC meeting, the Council approved a resolution directing all the governors and mayors in the region to set up a display center for all their native products and services, especially the products identified under the One Town-One Product (OTOP) program of the government, which promotes entrepreneurship.
It was also learned that OTOP Philippines is a priority program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to help establish three million new businesses and create six to 10 million jobs.
Southern Mindanao RDC Chair Vicente Lao said that the local showrooms should not only display the particular OTOP products identified by the LGUs, but also other local products that are endemic in the localities.
He said this will make it easier for the local tourism stakeholders and hosts where to bring the tourists and guests when they look for native products, souvenir items and the likes.
The RDC chair added that the project is expected to brisk up the income, especially of small entrepreneurs. (PNA)