Davao City to strengthen ties with Asian neighbors

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Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Tuesday unveiled her plan to push for stronger ties with the country’s Asian neighbors to boost the city’s tourism industry.

During her state of the city address, the mayor said the first half of the year has remained fruitful for the city even after the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

Davao City was still able to record more than 900,00 tourist arrivals with an estimated economic benefit of P31 billion from January to June.

The city’s focus now is strengthening its “foreign promotion.”

Duterte said Japan, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia are priorities of the city when it comes to tourism promotion.

After numerous development partnerships with Japan, she noted that the country has a “soft spot for Davao.”

She said Singapore and Malaysia, meanwhile, have already established direct flights to Davao City.

Davao also has a direct link to Singapore. Its link to Kuala Lumpur will launch in December.

“For the KL and Singapore tourists, we are diligently working on the halal food industry in our city and have faced the challenge in getting the national standard guidelines for halal operations to be implemented by the City Government. As a start, we are open to investors to put up a halal slaughterhouse within government property,” she said.