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DOT hopes to boost Mindanao tourism through ‘improved connectivity’

Published in GMA News, August 16, 2017 12:03pm

The Department of Tourism on Monday met with local government units and the private sector of Davao and Zamboanga Peninsula regions to discuss the intensified promotion of Mindanao to local and foreign visitors.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo discussed the DOT's plans for Mindanao and urged satellite offices to ensure the success of the projects by efficiently using the P5 million budget allotted to complement the roadworks meant to improve connectivity in the region.

"On our part in the Department of Tourism, we will continue to promote Mindanao as a world-class destination in order to create jobs, especially in the countryside," Teo was quoted as saying in a statement shared with a press.

She added, "In fact, we will be meeting with tourism stakeholders soon so that we can synergize all our efforts to show to the world the beauty behind our often misunderstood island."

The DOT is in close coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways for the construction and rehabilitation of roads servicing visitors to different tourist destinations in Mindanao.

At the heart of the plan is the P1.9 billion circumferential road around the Island Garden City of Samal.

The project was inaugurated by former president Benigno Simeon Aquino III in 2015. Teo said that she hopes that construction will be completed before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down.

The regional office of the Zamboanga Peninsula will be assessing the "potential and problems" of the areas tourists destination, but the Zamboanga International Airport is already being eyed to be developed as "service-oriented shopping hub" with the addition of a new Duty Free Philippines store.

Region IX — which encompasses the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, and Zamboanga del Sur, plus Isabela City and Zamboanga City — is also being prepared for local and international events. — LA, GMA News