DOT Developing Cultural Villages

Mar. 30, 2007

By Rose B. Palacio

DAVAO CITY — In respond to what most European and domestic tourists are looking for, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is developing cultural tourism in villages and key areas in the region.

DOT XI Director Sonia Garcia said cultural tourism is really a niche market but it has to be pushed through strongly. The government is marketing through Singapore with an eye of luring European market.

|What we need to do is set up cultural villages in areas accessible to the tourists. We need not go to remote villages where our tribes settle because tourists dont go for long travels, she said.

She said a showcase can be established in certain sites to give tourists an idea of the Filipino cultural heritage.

Director Garcia mentioned the existing cultural villages in Mindanao like those in lake Sebu in South Cotabato, the Tudaya village in Digos City, and the Blaan village in Malita, Davao del Sur.

We want to show our tourists that the Mindanao islands are connected by land travel, she said.

With the highway tourism program, travelers can be provided with clean facilities like restrooms and cafeterias and at the same time increase their knowledge of unique and distinct cultures in the islands.

The program is being coordinated with the local government units for infrastructure facilities. This will also provide LGUs venues by which they can promote their respective tourist destinations and affordable eco-tourism packages, she said. (PIA-XI/rbpalacio)

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