|Tour operators help develop, promote
|Source: Manila Bulletin
|Author: Frankie Lagniton
Towns and cities with potential tourist attractions should encourage tour
operators in Manila to open offices in their communities to help develop and
promote their areas to local and foreign visitors, according to Rissa Go Gatdula,
general manager for branches of Danfil Express.
If this is not possible, she said, local government officials should entice local
entrepreneurs to organize business ventures and tie up with Manila tour operators and
learn from them finer techniques in handling ground operations for visitors. This tie-up
could be a loose arrangement but with clear definition of sharing net revenue or could
be on a more formal basis like a short-term partnership.
Gatdula explained that more often a town has tourist attractions coupled with
acceptable lodging facility but has no ground handlers to look after visitors, adding
that for as long as there are no knowledgeable ground handlers, tourist attractions
could not be promoted and the attractions would remain undeveloped because tour
operators in Manila would not include such town in their packages.
Danfil Express, one of the veteran travel and tour operators in the country has
branched out in Mindanao and the Visayas. It has opened branches in Cebu, Tacloban
(Leyte) and Davao. The company is now looking at General Santos City and the
surrounding tourist attractions with the goal of developing new tour packages.
The tour company is currently working with Sarangani Tour and Travel of the RD
group of hotels in General Santos City to help develop tour packages such as fishing
tour, tuna canning tour in canning plants and dolphin-watching tour as starters,
according to Gatdula.
She said that in some cases a local tour operator in a city or town often resents the
entry of Manila-based companies.
“We like to have local partners and we don’t mind transferring our know-how in tour
operations to them,” Gatdula said.
The Danfil executive recently visited Cagayan de Oro City to check out tourist
attractions and give advise to municipal officials as how best to proceed in promoting
new destinations especially those places that are included in the anchor destinations
of the Department of Tourism.
She said Danfil continues to research and develop new packages, adding that to
sustain the viability of the country’s attraction to foreign visitors, especially when the
prospects are bright in the next four years, new products will have to come off the
racks. (Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)