THE tourism and investment roadshow in Japan provided a glimpse and a better understanding of Japanese tourists and will most possibly help with the improvement of the tourism in the city, said City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) official.

According to CTOO head Generose Tecson, they have met with the Organization of Tour Operators Association (OTOA) and Japan Association of Tour Agencies (Jata), two of the biggest tourism associations in Tokyo, during the tourism and investment roadshow in Japan from October 17 to 22 attended by different City government officials and private sectors.

Tecson said the visit had been an eye opener for them as they learned that even when the president of the Philippines is from Davao City, only a few Japanese ever heard or knew about Davao. This is a challenge to the tourism industry of the city, on top of the travel advisories released by the Japanese government against Mindanao and Davao.

She said she told the representatives of OTOA and Jata that they are working closely with the Japanese embassy and the Department of Foreign Affairs to have the travel advisories lifted. Tecson said their presentation was to them were in Nihonggo which made their hosts pleased and believed that CTOO came well-prepared.

Because of this, representatives of OTOA and Jata are coming in Davao City sometime next year to see the city and what it has to offer.

“What we were able to do was get inputs on them on how to sell Davao to the Japanese market. At the same, how we should package our tours that would suit the Japanese market. That’s what our tour operators who joined with us learned,” said Tecson.

She added they learned through these tour operator organizations that most of the Japanese tourists traveling abroad are women and so they plan on tailor-fitting tour packages especially for Japanese women, which would involve showcasing the city’s spas, salon, shopping centers, restaurants, and “Instagrammable” scenic spots.

As for the Japanese businessmen that come to Davao City for conferences, tour packages for them may involve showcasing of the three championship golf course, massage spas, and restaurants. Tecson also said they had been promoting the affordable tropical fruits available in Davao City to the Japanese as well.

Aside from the city government officials, those that were present during the tourism and investment roadshows were representatives from Yovel Agri Enterprise and Yovel East Research and Development, Inc., Bloomers Travel and Tours and Bloomers Marketing, Eden Nature Park and Resort, Gasera Corporation, Waterfront Insular Hotel, and Ana’s Breeder’s Farms.

Currently, Japanese tourists rank second among the different nationalities that come visit the city, next to the Americans.