TACLOBAN CITY – Travel and tour operators from the region joined the first-ever Mindanao Tourism Expo held at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premier in Davao City.

Travel and tours operators and specialty establishments from the region joined the first ever ay Mindanao Trade Expo held in Davao City that concluded on Jan.31.Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes led the Eastern Visayas delegation. (DOT-8)

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco graced the event, saying that the launching of the Mindanao Travel Expo is to further the goal of reopening Mindanao to tourism which features its rich and diverse regions, emerging destinations, and deeply rooted heritage and culture but faces various challenges which hamper its full development.

“(The Department of Tourism(DOT) will reach out to these regions, to exert the services, the talents, the expertise of the members of the department to ensure that they receive the appropriate training, promotion, and marketability that they should have and will have moving forward,” Garcia said.

The delegation from the region, headed by Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, presented during the expo from January 27 to 29 the enhanced, market-ready, and protocols compliant tourism products to Mindanao-based tour operators to reinforce the tourism restart initiatives of the DOT and build back the volume of visitors arrivals in the region that declined due to the pandemic caused by coronavirus disease (COVID-190.
The event also served as a venue for benchmarking for Region 8 on the good practices of tourism site managers and local government units from all over the country.
The delegation showcased and promoted tour packages at their Pintados-inspired and banig-designed booth.

Among the promoted tourism sites of the region during the event were the Kalanggaman Island, Canigao, and Cuatro Islas in Leyte province; Sambawan in Biliran province; San Pablo in Southern Leyte province; Biri Island in Northern Samar, the Ulot River Boat Ride and Sohoton Cave in Samar, including the San Juanico Cruises, and Leyte’s City Tour.
The tour operators which joined the event were able to have a combined 68 leads and 56 linkages and generated around P70, 000 sales and several orders during the three-day event.