Japanese history, Chinatown bike tours eyed in Davao City

Published April 23, 2021, 3:57 PM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – The Department of Tourism (DOT)-Davao region plans to launch Japanese history and Chinatown bike tours here to promote the local tourism beset by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

DOT-Davao director Tanya Rabat-Tan said in a virtual press conference that they are working closely with the city government here to draft the plan of this new tourism offering in the hopes of reviving the local industry.

She said the agency is also looking for bike trails and historical structures that would be included in the tour packages. Tan added that the agency is also considering other trails outside the city for adventure seekers.

In 2017, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) earmarked P120 million to build a heritage site within Barangay Mintal, known as “Little Tokyo,” where around 30,000 Japanese people lived during the pre-war Philippines.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) is promoting “biking” as another tourism activity because “it’s the best way to see the country.”

Puyat said revenues from the tourism sector in Davao region went down to P3.4 billion last year, a decrease of 93.7 percent, from P54.2 billion in 2019.

She said tourism activities are permitted in modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas.

Puyat added that the decision to open up the tourism sites in areas under a MGCQ for domestic travelers would still remain with the local government officials who can assess the COVID-19 situation in their localities.

Davao City remains under general community quarantine (GCQ) until April 30 while the rest of the areas in the Davao region are under MGCQ until April 30.