AROUND 200 Muslim pilgrims in Davao are expected to join this year’s first Umrah Ramadan travel package by Travel Managers.

“First time natin itong ginawa at dinala dito sa Mindanao para naman mabigyan rin ng pagkakataon na magampanan ng mga kapatid nating Muslim ang kanilang tungkuling panrelihiyon (This is the first time that we did and brought here in Mindanao to give our Muslim brothers and sisters the opportunity to fulfill their religious responsibilities),” Travel Managers president and general manager Zoraida Arcega said during the Umrah processing launching Monday, January 27.

In Muslim tradition, Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the Hajj which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.

Arcega said Travel Managers wanted to expand their services in providing travel opportunities to the Middle East to Mindanao given with the huge Muslim population in the island.

Based on the records of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), around 5,600 Filipinos in 2017 traveled to the Middle East for the Islamic pilgrimage.

Arcega said they launched it here first in Davao because of the market potential of the Muslim community who might be interested in doing the pilgrimage with Travel Managers.

The following rates are offered: 30 days for $3,300; 20 days for $3,100; and 15 days for $2,900.

The package includes round trip fares, hotel accommodation in Medina and Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Free Umrah Visa for first time goers, and Travel insurance. Travels to either Egypt and Jordan also is part of the package.

Meanwhile, Arcega said for the first quarter of this year, Travel Manager will launch Umrah travel in other parts of Mindanao like Zamboanga City and Cagayan de Oro City.