Davao plans Japanese history and Chinatown bike tours to boost tourism

A usual scene on the main streets of Davao City (photo taken May 26) as the number of bikers increases after the general community quarantine of Davao City. Minda news photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / April 23) – The Department of Tourism (DOT) -Davao plans to launch Japanese history and Chinatown bike tours in the city to promote local tourism amid uncertainties caused by the pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Tanya Rabat-Tan, regional director of DOT-Davao, told a virtual press conference on Thursday that they were working closely with the local government in Davao to develop a plan for this new tourism offering with the aim of reviving industry.

She said the agency is currently looking for cycle paths and historic structures that will be included in tourist packages.

Tan added that the agency is also considering other trails outside of town for adventurers.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the Tourism Promotion Council is promoting “cycling” as another tourist activity because “it is the best way to see the country”.

She added that bike tours are achievable under the new standard, as cyclists are normally far from each other during commutes.

She said activities in open spaces are privileged during the pandemic.

The use of bicycles in the city has become a trend as people search for safer alternatives to get around. The Ministry of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has started installing two-way cycle paths worth 145.3 million pesos in the city.

Workers put the finishing touches to a pocket park in Davao City’s Chinatown on January 24, 2020 ahead of the Lunar New Year celebration. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

The development of cycle paths is a convergence project of DPWH with the Ministry of Transport. It was funded under Republic Act 11494, also known as the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.

In 2017, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority allocated 120 million pesos to the construction of a heritage site within Barangay Mintal, known as “Little Tokyo”, where approximately 30,000 Japanese lived before the Second World War.

Although tourism activities are permitted in Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) areas, Puyat said the decision to open them to domestic travelers will still remain with local authorities.

Davao City remains under GCQ and the rest of the Davao region under MGCQ until April 30. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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