THE Davao Travel Agencies Association (DTAA) has once again warned the public about the unregistered travel and tour offices that have been operating in their jurisdiction, as refund, scheduling, and other travel arrangements are mostly not being offered, contrary to what was posted on social media.
DTAA also revealed that the top travel agencies illegally conducting this scheme are land-based travel, which became rampant after the pandemic.
"Definitely, dito sa (here, in) Davao City meron (there is) [and] we are constantly monitoring especially doon sa (there on the) inbound kasi (because) there are a lot of those tour operators who are operating without a proper license," Pia Partoza Montano, a travel agency owner and Vice-President for the Travel and Tours Sector of DTAA, revealed during Tuesday's PEP Talk Lifestyle Forum on January 16, 2024, at SM Lanang, Davao City.
The official also said that the large number of illegitimate tours has made it difficult to stop and trace fake travel agencies individually.
"Mahirap sya i-police kasi medyo madami din. Medyo mahirap because it will come out much cheaper because you are just paying [the] transportation but you know if there are incidents na mangyayari, doon nagkakaroon ng problema,” Montano added.
(It's hard to police them because of the huge numbers. Quite a bit hard because it will come out much cheaper as you are just paying [the] transportation but you know if there are incidents that will happen, then there lies the problem).
On the other hand, Tanya Rabat Tan, Department of Tourism-Davao (DOT-Davao) regional director, added that their agency created a QR code last August 2023 and was posted on their official Facebook account and other socials wherein data regarding the authorized and registered travel agencies can be found.
This is to ensure the quality of the public's travel choices and avoid travelers consulting with fake travel agents or travel tour companies.
"We encourage everybody to really transact with DOT-accredited enterprises. Happy to note that may increase [in numbers] yung mga accredited (Happy to note that there is an increase [in numbers] of accredited travel and tour operators),” Rabat noted.
Currently, DOT-Davao has at least 109 registered travel and tour agencies in the city.
Meanwhile, agencies who wish to secure a registration can check the requirements and application form at: https://tourism.davaocity.gov.ph/explore/ and renewal can be done online email@example.com. DEF