DOT exec: ‘AirAsia is strong partner’

A top executive of the Department of Tourism (DOT) has named AirAsia Philippines as one of their strong partners in Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibits (MICE).

“AirAsia is a strong partner in MICE,” Roberto Alabado III, chief of the DOT in Davao Region, said.

Davao has its own MICE, which aims to promote the region a major convention destination in Asia, taking charge of attracting, promoting, facilitating, and servicing large-scale events, international fairs and conventions, congresses, sports competitions, expositions and the like.

“We have the only MICE organization in the country. We find partners who will come to Davao, and give discounts to convention goers,” Alabado said adding that airfare play a big part in the attendance of MICE goers.

To attract more tourists, Alabado said they created “Visit Davao Fun Sale” where they offer discounted airfares, hotel accommodations and tour packages among others.

Last week, AirAsia commenced its Clark-Davao flight with an airbus almost full of passengers.

Alabado said Davao City serves as the gateway of people from North and Central Luzon to Mindanao.

“Many say that this is the first city that they will step on in Mindanao,” he said adding that tourists, local and foreign, need not worry about safety especially when in Davao City.

Davao City is the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte. The city is known for its 911 Center, an emergency response team similar to that of the US and Canada, and a public safety command houses a comprehensive monitoring system through closed-circuit TV cameras (CCTV) placed all around the city.

As for their tourist destinations, Alabado said they offer island to highland attractions.

“We offer attractions from island to highlands. When we say islands, we would have diving, white beachesand world-class resorts. And at the same time when you go to the mountains, we have another vista na naman. Halos isang oras lang, makakapunta doon sa mga mala Tagaytay o Baguio weather,” Alabado said.