Thailand visit to boost Davao tourism industry

January 11, 2010 11:50 am 

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 11 — Experiences and lessons learned by the Davao tourism industry contingent from the weeklong Thailand benchmarking trip last December are expected to help boost the tourism industry in the Davao region.

Alma Uy, chairperson of the Davao Regional Tourism Council (DRTC) said many of the travel experiences and deep insights shared by each member of the tourism industry contingent who visited Thailand will be valuable in formulating new tourism concepts that will help in the growth of the Davao tourism industry.

“There’s something about Thailand that our own people can emulate — the Thais strive hard to excel in everything and we can see that in their designs, their dances, their cultural shows,” Uy stressed during their recent benchmarking post activity meeting.

The DRTC chairperson cited a town called Pratunam where the young designers were given the opportunity to excel in what they do.

“In the villages, you can see the Thais offer very simple presentations to tourists, yet attractions like this are not well appreciated in the Philippines” Uy pointed out.

Wanda Teo, DRTC vice-person on the other hand, lamented that with all the efforts done to promote Davao as a tourist destination over the years, places like Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Baguio, and others still remained top tourist attractions in the country.

“We should work together to aim for equal footing with these places. Whether we like it or not, the Davao Region is not well known as a tourist destination compared to these places. We have this opportunity now to do something about it,” Teo said.

The Philippines, according to Teo, is much better off than Thailand in terms of local attractions, as well as its history, arts and culture.

“And yet we are left behind by Thailand in the tourism industry. What we need is a strong marketing effort to promote this country to foreign tourists” Teo said.

The benchmarking trip to Thailand last December was one of the projects launched by the tourism industry cluster team under the Davao Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Program (DICCEP), a joint project of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao. (PNA) LOR/Aurelio A. Pena/lvp

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