Korean travel firm to promote Davao City

Subscribe Now March 18, 2014 at 08:55am

The city has received a boost in its bid to get a portion of the Korean tourist market with the commitment of Hanatour Service, Inc., one the largest travel companies in Korea, to include Davao City in its tour program this year.

"Hanatour’s officials called me up about two weeks ago to inform me that they will include Davao in its marketing program, beginning this year," said Arturo P. Boncato, Jr., Department of Tourism assistant secretary.

The city’s tourism sector has been talking with the travel company these past years, but it is only now that the company decided to include Davao in its travel package.

Mr. Boncato said Hanatour has been operating in Cebu and Boracay for years now and is looking for new destinations. With this development, the company will not only promote Korea-Cebu tours but will create a Korea-Cebu-Davao tour package.

"With Cebu Pacific expanding its market, we can expect Incheon-Davao flights soon," he also said -- noting, however, that it will take some time to establish connections.

The city started courting Korean travel agents last year by inviting them to visit the country.

Travel agents from Hanatour and another Korean tour operator, Mode Tours, visited the city last September for a five-day familiarity tour to assess the marketability of a Davao-Incheon route, if established.

Mr. Boncato said Davao’s tourism is highly domestic, with only 100,000 of the 1.5 million visitor arrivals in 2013 consisting of foreign nationals.

Holders of US passports still numbered the most among the city’s foreign arrivals, with 70% of the total figure. Mr. Boncato also said Korean tourists make up around 10,000 of the total visitor arrivals in the city.

According to the official, a three-night travel package for Koreans will allow them to experience the island-to-highland tours. He noted that the city will also be able to cater to niche markets such as golfers who may simply want to spend their vacation exploring the golf courses in the city.

There are two 18-hole golf courses in the city -- Racho Palos Verdes in Mandug district and the Apo Golf and Country Club -- that are considered among the top 10 courses in the country. There are also one nine-hole executive course and four practice ranges in the city.

Source: bworldonline.com

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