Following a visit by a US-based cruise liner, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Davao regional office is looking at the region as potential destination among cruise ships touring the country.
This developed as cruise liner Zeghram Expeditions made a paid a visit earlier this year.
However, DOT-Davao Director Roberto Alabado III admitted that much needs to be done before the region can welcome cruises on regular basis, most notably on infrastructure and logistics.
Currently, the region can only handle about 500 to 1,000 passengers, but anything more will require the tourism stakeholders to scale up its facilities, including the ports.
Alabado recommended Sta Ana Wharf to be developed for tourism purposes as it fits better than the Sasa Wharf which is mainly used for cargo container shipment.
“Ang daming kakailangin, tapos hindi na alam kung saan mo sila dadalhin. It has to be planned carefully, the logistics will be great but we have to sustain even without the cruise passengers,” he said.
Alabado said stakeholders he talked to are saying many passengers want new destinatins to go to besides those in Singapore.
“Itong mga nasa Singapore, sawa na sa kanilang mga cruises, they are all looking for new destinations and the new destinations are all here in the Philippines,” he said.
He also noted that the Philippine cruise shipping industry is emerging, with ports of call in Manila, Puerto Princesa and El Nido becoming attractive stops.