THE Department of Tourism (DOT) said that they are keen on developing Mindanao in boosting Philippine tourism.

“Mindanao is vital and essential in terms of tourism development because it is a hidden gem that has yet to be fully discovered,” DOT Secretary Christina Frasco said during an ambush interview at the opening of the Mindanao Tourism Expo 2023 at SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang, Davao City.

To unveil this potential, Frasco said that they are "eagerly" collaborating with the Mindanao mayors, governors, regional directors, and other officials to help them with this cause.

"(We call on our mayors, governors, regional directors, etc) to really ensure that we allow our tourists, both international and local, to peek into the soul of Mindanao, and the soul of Filipino people," Frasco said.

Frasco said their department will soon sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to improve peace and security in Mindanao, which she calls the “pillar” of island tourism.

"[The MOA is] to ensure that our tourists enjoy their time here in Mindanao in a peaceful and progressive region," Frasco said.

By welcoming more tourists to Mindanao, Frasco also expects it will also make more economic opportunities available outside of the region through the different regional directors throughout the country.

Frasco also said that initiatives like the Mindanao Tourism Expo will help spread more tourism awareness and promote exposure to different cultures from various regions in the country.

"Mao gyud nang insister ko na kinahanglan hatagan gyud natog pagtagad ang Mindanao tungod kay ang Mindanao, usa sa mga importante kaayo nga susi sa paglambo sa turismo sa tibuok Pilipinas (That’s why I really insisted that we need to give Mindanao attention, as this island is important to improve Philippine tourism)," she said. ICE