THIRTY-THREE Singapore-based travel agents and tour operators joined the Davao presentation and the business-to-business session organized by the Department of Tourism XI last September 26 at the Amara Hotel in Singapore.
The presentation and B2B session, led by DOT Xl Regional Director Tanya Rabat Tan and her team, were part of the two-day Davao business mission that featured destination updates, networking between the Singapore group and tourism officers, hotel and resort representatives, and tour operators from Davao Region, and a courtesy visit to Philippine Embassy in Singapore.
“We had a very fruitful exchange of ideas with the tour operators, especially during the B2B sessions and our visit to the Ambassador Medardo Macaraig. We are truly grateful that they have taken an interest in Davao,” said Rabat.
Ambassador Macaraig disclosed to the Davao delegation their initial plans to highlight Davao for the Philippine Flower Festival in October 2024 at the Gardens by the Bay.
“This is going to be big, especially since the venue is a major attraction here in Singapore. We hope to highlight Davao’s Waling-waling together with other Philippine flora during this exhibition. Of course, when we promote your orchid, we also get to promote Davao,” he shared.
The B2B sessions also piqued the tour operators’ interest in Davao, especially that out of 33, there were only two who actually visited Davao City.
“They don’t even know where Davao is. They were pleasantly surprised when DOT presented the Davao video and realized that there is actually a lot to do and see here,” said Davao Tourism Association president Nicole Hao-Bian Ledesma.
From the discussions, she recommended that local stakeholders need to enhance our tourism products further and make them more enticing to the Singaporean market.
“It is important for us to know what the market wants. Singaporeans go for leisure. Then, it’s a good opportunity for us especially that we have new properties to offer. They also asked about the possibility of bringing in senior citizens, incentives, student exchange, and cultural immersion groups,” Davao Vistors Destination Hub president Pia Partoza said.
She added that “cost is very important for them”, such as airfare, hotel rates, and tours, as well as proper infrastructure and access to attractions.
“We really have to make Davao more competitive especially that there are a lot of flights from Singapore to other ASEAN destinations,” Partoza quipped.
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