Davao, Philippines (January 27-29, 2023) - Mr. Bobby Horrigan represented TIBFI at the first ever launching of Mindanao Tourism Expo that was held at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premier. The said event focuses on the readiness of the Mindanao to begin reopening its doors for international and local travels. The outset of the event was graced by Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco of Department of Tourism (DOT).
The Tourism Expo of Mindanao, according to the Secretary, is a part of the DOT's attempts to reopen Mindanao to tourists. She mentioned that this was one of the first initiatives she presented to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. immediately after being named the department's head of tourism.
The Tourism Secretary accentuates the value to bring forth tourism expos in the locales in her speech— "Since then, the effort has not only been to concentrate on what the Department of Tourism has been doing in the past few years but also to expand the reach of the traditional mandate of the Department to look into the necessary pillars of true tourism development to take a long hard and honest look at what needs to be changed and improved on to recover our losses from the pandemic and come back stronger than ever," Sec. Frasco said.
The Secretary claimed that the "Colors of Mindanao" theme of this year's regional tourism expo amply demonstrated how stunning the area was, and that its diversity of culture today motivates its readiness to receive tourists not just from the Philippines but from all over the world.
Sec. Frasco added that the order from Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is to ensure that the benefits of tourism spread as widely as possible throughout the entire nation, in addition to continuing to develop and promote the key destinations of the country. — "So we are doing our very best to spread tourism development to the countryside, and that includes initiatives such as this that bring the potential of our cities, municipalities, and provinces of Mindanao to tourism development... So that our Filipino brothers will feel the true benefits of the tourism development" Sec. Frasco noted in her speech.
Conversely, the host of Expo Director Tanya Rabat-Tan of DOT-Region 11, said that now is the ideal time to visit Mindanao and, in particular, its unspoiled natural wonders.
"For years, the ever passionate stakeholders of Mindanao tourism industry have been doing their best efforts not just to bring out the best in their respective regions but also to persuade visitors to go and visit them," Director Rabat-Tan said in her speech.
The three-day expo comprises 200 attendees and 34 exhibitors, of which 18 are the various DOT regional offices across the nation and 16 private sectors of tourism establishments.
The B2B meetings, also known as business-to-business meetings, business-to-customer meetings, and the gala show that serves as the event's finale will be the expo's four main proponents.
The expo is collaborated to bring the exhibition to life in partnership with the Davao Visitors Destination Hub, Inc., DOT Mindanao Regional Offices, DOT - Office of Product and Market Development, and DOT - Office of the Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation Coordination and Resource Generation in which the Tourism Board was also part of the said event, represented by its Chairperson, Mr. Robert John Horrigan, together with the Department of Tourism.