Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco sees huge opportunities in developing Tawi-Tawi as a tourist destination in Mindanao, citing the growth and development tourism can bring into the province.
Speaking at the 1st Tourism Pride Summit in Makati on Thursday, Frasco said the Department of Tourism’s close cooperation with the Department of National Defense and relevant agencies is starting to yield positive results.
Frasco said the agencies continue to collaborate to ensure that tourism development in the area is “strategic and also based on the maintenance of the peace and order”.
“This collaboration has already borne fruit as a few days ago, I found myself in the southernmost province of the Philippines— the beautiful province of Tawi-Tawi where I am very pleased to inform you that they are ready for tourism,” she said.
“They are ready to be included in the tourism map of the Philippines,” she stressed.
Frasco, who visited Tawi-Tawi for its 50th anniversary on September 25, said the Marcos administration is ready to provide further support for the province’s tourism sector as a way to ensure that “no destination is left behind in the tourism development of the industry”.
Frasco said the DOT can negotiate with the aviation sector and increase connectivity to the province.
In addition, it could facilitate infrastructure development in the area through its partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The DOT is also eager to help Tawi-Tawi improve the quality of its already existing tourism products, including its colorful festivals, pristine beaches, and the sacred and lush Bud Bongao forest, among others.
These efforts, Frasco said, could then be replicated to other destinations in Mindanao as DOT is “very much willing to collaborate and support the officials of the Bangsamoro as far as the implementation of tourism programs is concerned”.
During her Tawi-Tawi trip, Frasco also gifted locals with tour guiding kits, which included an electronic lapel microphone, hat, sunblock, bamboo tumbler, bamboo sunglasses and a journal.
Nursida Jaluddin, an accredited tour guide and owner of Sidang Travel and Tour, thanked the agency and hoped for increased tourist arrivals on the island province. (PNA)