Advancing sustainable tourism

(Contributed photo)

SHE advocates for tourism and environment as well which makes her a perfect fit as the new Davao Region’s director for tourism.

This 46-year-old public servant has proven that she is more than charm and looks. Before appointed as Department of Tourism Davao’s director, Tanya Rabat-Tan has successfully served as Mati City’s Chief of Staff, city’s promotions and investment officer, and founder of the Solid Waste Integrated Management (Swim) program.

She dreamt of becoming a neurosurgeon when she was younger but fate led her to public service. In her first few years in public service, Tan shared that it was dealing and understanding people that taught her more about patience.

“The early part was mostly a learning experience for me. There was a lot of interaction with people and that meant dealing with different personalities. It was during these first few years that I learned the importance of patience, to listen with your heart and to be sensitive with people’s feelings,” she said.

But before she took an oath for public service like most of her family members, Tan ran a cake shop business called All About Cakes. She is inclined to business because she graduated Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Marketing at the Ateneo de Davao University.

When work allows her to take a rest, she usually spends her weekends with her family and her two sons doing or not doing anything together. Asked if she was not in public service, she shared she might be operating a small business or be a full time mother.

But she loves what she’s doing now as she can affect the change she wanted to her community. As the new regional director for tourism, Tan is keen to advance sustainable programs focusing on heritage, cultural, culinary, and farm tourism.

“I am a big advocate of the environment, so I would love for Sustainable Tourism to take a front seat for all our tourism destinations. And, more than the destinations I would love to feel the spirit of the Dabawenyos alive in our tourism industry,” she said.

Tan was eager to share that Dahican Beach in Mati City, Davao Oriental is her most favourite tourism spot in Davao Region.

“I love Dahican Beach for sentimental reasons. It is where I have some of my happiest memories of my childhood. And of course as I got older, it became more than just a place to spend time with family. I started to appreciate its magnificence, how precious Mother Nature is. It is where my love affair with nature started. And for this, Dahican will always have a special place in my heart,” she said.

High hopes and positive developments are expected with Tan in the tourism seat and she has indeed a lot of works to be done but with her passion and concern for tourism and the environment, nothing is farfetched.

When asked to describe herself in few words, she said: I am simple and I am not a fan of single use plastics.


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