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Tawi-Tawi eyed as hub for cruise ships

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The Department of Tourism (DOT) is mulling to develop Tawi-Tawi into a major gateway and hub for cruise ships.

DOT Assistant Secretary Eden Josephine L. David said she sees bright prospects for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) tourism industry, particularly the “Cradle of Islamic Philippines” in Tawi-Tawi.

“With improved accessibility by sea and air connectivity via Zamboanga, we can help develop and turn the area into a major gateway and hub for cruise ships,” she said.

The DOT official, who recently visited Tawi-Tawi, lauded ARMM local tourism department’s efforts under the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Vision 2025 and the Joint Tourism Development (JTD) Cluster in the development of the Philippine-EAGA (P-EAGA) Community-Based Eco-Tourism (CBET) Sites.

David assured support for the Western Mindanao region’s tourism development projects in line with the DOT’s “Go South, Go Mindanao” campaign.

DOT-ARMM Secretary Ayesha Dilangalen said a tourism plan is set to be launched this coming June.

It will be geared towards enticing hotel and restaurant operators to provide basic services to domestic tourists, the official added.

DOT said Tawi-Tawi’s emerging tourist destinations include Panampangan Island, which offers white sand beaches, palm and coconut trees and clear blue waters perfect for picnics, water sports adventures on its famous sandbar, the longest in the country.

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