The Davao region is pushing for more international flights to further spur development in the tourism industry.
“We need more direct flights to Davao region. The United States, Japan and South Korea, these are top three foreign markets. We don’t have a direct flight to Japan, we don’t have direct flights to the US but we’re hoping that other airlines would see the opportunity of connecting Davao,” DOT XI Regional Director Roberto Alabado 3rd told The Manila Times in an interview.
Since the Philippines is part of the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asean Growth Area), Alabado said, Air Asia can fly direct from Davao to Kota Kinabalu or Kuala Lumpur and back, and Cebu Pacific, from Davao to Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong and back.
At present, he added, there is only one direct flight between Davao and Singapore.
“Compared to other places, our share in foreign arrivals is still low. So we are targeting Singapore, to market the Visit Davao Fun Sale in Singapore even for meetings and incentives. Once we have that, we are hoping we can increase our international tourist arrivals,’ Alabado said.
Of regional hotel occupancy from January-June of 1,186,901, only 71,659 were foreign travelers; 1,113,084, domestic travelers; and 2,158, overseas Filipinos.