Island-to-highland: Davao del Norte launches new tourism promo drive

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DAVAO CITY—Davao del Norte has tweaked the traditional island-to-highland tourism promotion in Mindanao  into “The Ultimate Island to Highland Destination” as it renewed its bid to take a slice of the tourism receipts that were beginning to improve since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The provincial tourism office argued that “nowhere else in Davao Region can we find a place where tourists can enjoy highland to island destinations.”

Provincial Tourism Officer Noel Daquioag was referring to the major eco-tourism destination in the region, the Island Garden City of Samal, which is part of the province. He said Samal island “is a complete circuit of island destination by itself.”

And for the province’s highland destination “we are positioning the municipality of Talaingod as a tribal and cultural destination.”

As a side dish to its tourism hype, Daquioag said branding the province as “DavNor: Experience Adventure and More” would capitalize on the place’s endowments of caves, mountains, rivers and falls.

“You might have viewed Davao del Norte as mainly an adventure destination but there is more to it. We have culture and tradition, we also have agri-tourism,” he said.

Daquioag guaranteed the readiness of Davao del Norte to host the visits of local and foreign tourists. He cited the 10 completed tourist destination projects developed through a P200 million fund that the provincial government distributed to each component municipalities during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

“While tourism got slumped due to restricted travels, the provincial tourism office planned a way forward for tourism that was fully supported by Governor Edwin I. Jubahib,” Daquioag said.

“When pandemic started we also started to plan more, that’s why we came up with the provincial tourism development plan. The governor told us to improve our existing tourism sites and develop emerging and potential sites,” he added.

The province was emboldened to be more aggressive now after a sustained peace and order situation and after the Davao Region, and specifically Davao del Norte, was declared a tourism and investment area.

“It is a very welcome development, but our capital here is we have also been declared as insurgency free. Peace and order is a crucial  factor in having tourists come into our place,” Jubahib said.

Davao del Norte was the first province in Davao Region to have been declared insurgency-free as a result of  the intensive implementation of the Presidential Executive Order 70 on ending local communist armed conflict (ELCAC) with which Governor Jubahib had been actively involved, the provincial information office said.