How does one go about promoting tourism in the large region of the Philippines known as Mindanao? That’s the task that Art Boncato has taken on, at least partially, as the Regional Director for the Davao region, Department of Tourism-XI.

Though I know next to nothing about the business of promoting tourism, from what I’ve been reading, and it’s been a lot, it seems to me that they have the right man for the task. He’s been very active in meetings and planning, and especially communicating that information with the media. He’s also very visible and accessible via his Facebook account.

Davao Region, designated as Region XI, is one of the regions of the Philippines, located on the southeastern portion of Mindanao. Davao Region consists of four provinces, namely: Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental. The region
encloses the Davao Gulf and its regional center is Davao City.

There seems to be a big tourism push going on in the Philippines recently. Obviously it is one area that has been targeted to generate income for the country, now and in the future. The types of tourism I see mentioned most are meetings & conventions, ecotourism* and medical tourism. All these are very important to the Davao region. Medical tourism, in particular, is an area that appears could easily be promoted and utilized to higher degree than it is currently.

One of the fruits of the Department of Tourism-XI’s labors has been a “Let’s Meet in Davao” MICE manual (meeting, incentive, conference, exhibition), along with a MICE accomandation guide. Both of these documents are available online, and offer detailed information about what is available in Davao for your next MICE and resources that you can avail to help make your MICE visit more rewarding.

There are other organizations working to help the promotion of the area as well. Mindanao Tourism Council, Samal Island Tourism Council and Visit Samal are all groups that are working towards that goal. The later two are obviously focused on our favorite island, the Island Garden City of Samal.



I believe all those in the Davao region can feel very proud about the leadership they have in regards to the important industry of tourism.

MR. ARTURO P. BONCATO, JR., Regional Director
Rm. 512, LANDCO Corporate Center Bldg.,
J.P. Laurel Avenue, 8000 Davao City
Tel.: (6382) 225 1940
Fax: (6382) 221 0070 / 221 6955


* Ecotourism is responsible travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas that strive to be low impact and (often) small scale (as an alternative to mass tourism). Its purpose is to educate the traveler; provide funds for ecological conservation; directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities; and foster respect for different cultures and for human rights.

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