Tuesday, August 26, 2008
After the popular whale shark watching in Donsol, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is now eyeing bird watching as the country’s next draw for foreign tourists.
Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said the DOT will introduce bird watching during a marketing mission in France next month.
The DOT has already identified 10 destinations where tourists can watch rare bird species only found in the Philippines.
Bird watching is the DOT’s newest holiday package which is expected to attract a large number of the estimated one-million bird lovers or “birders” worldwide, particularly in Europe.
“We have more than 400 bird species in the country so we have decided to come out with this new package for foreign tourists,” Durano said.
“This will be the country’s next Donsol,” he said, adding that the DOT also hopes to generate a new profession for Filipinos.
According to Durano, the DOT would be recruiting biologists to serve as guides.
“Europe is one of our growth areas. While we maintain strong presence in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France, we are seeing an overwhelming increase in Russian arrivals. Private businesses that have joined us in past marketing missions have gained significant benefits and these activities will open more opportunities,” Durano said.
From Sept. 16 to 19, the DOT will take part in the annual TopResa International Travel Market in France, considered the leading business-to-business venue for the French tourism industry with the rest of the world.