Return of Davao-Manila shipping service seen to boost Davao tourism

DAVAO CITY (PIA) — The Department of Tourism (DOT) sees more tourism opportunities with the return of a passenger shipping route from Manila to Davao.

Transportation and logistics company 2GO recently launched MV 2GO Masigla with a weekly Davao-General Santos-Iloilo-Manila route. The ship, which is touted with cruise ship-like amenities, arrived on March 25 in Sasa Port, Davao City.

“This is additional connectivity, another option especially for a different market available. It is quite convenient if you’re from Manila. It is just two days,” said DOT regional director Tanya Rabat Tan.

She said the reopening of the Davao to Manila passenger shipping route can attract tourists as the ship boasts of hotel or cruise-ship amenities such as luxurious air conditioned accommodations, restaurants, bars, arcade, KTV room, café, sundeck and souvenir shops.

“We welcome this chance kasi parang wala pa tayong ganito sea transport for tourists,” Rabat Tan said.

She added that with the coming of these vessels and its potentials of bringing in tourists, there is a need to improve the port facilities in Davao.

“We need to touch base with our counterpart in the seaport,” Rabat Tan said.

Francis Chua, 2GO marketing head (second from right) at PEP Talks Media Forum held at SM Lanang

Currently, there is a passenger terminal building in Sasa which has been fixed up in time for the resumption of the passenger shipping route. Passenger ships ceased their Davao-Manila route in 2011, was resumed in 2018 but was discontinued in 2019.

Francis Chua, marketing head of 2GO said that a bigger passenger terminal would be needed at the Sasa Port if the passenger route would grow.

“In fact, ang gusto po naming tingnan is papaano ba palalakihin ang capacity ng port para mas maraming pasahero ang mag-eenjoy,” Chua said.

(What we would like to see is how we can increase the capacity of the port so that many more passengers would enjoy.)

As for tourism potentials of the reopened passenger shipping route, Chua said that 2GO is coordinating with DOT to present a more accessible and affordable travel choice for Filipinos and tourists wanting to visit various destinations in the country.

“Hindi lahat ng lugar sa Pilipinas mayroong airport, if you travel from your home to the airport it will entail you added cost. Ang ginagawa ng 2GO is at least yung tinatawag nating door-to-door. Paglabas nila sa bahay dadalhin po sila ng bus at dadalhin sa pier, pagsakay sa barko automatic ihahatid sa next na pier,” Chua said.

(Not all areas in the Philippines have airports,if you travel from your home to the airport it will entail you added cost. What 2GO does is at least what we call door-to-door. When they go out of the house they will be taken by bus to the pier, when they get to the ship they will be taken to the next pier.)

He added that the ships, being part of the SM group, can have more affordable fuel costs for the ships.

“We really make sure na we become very affordable sa lahat ng  klaseng gustong bumiyahe. Hindi lang po yung mg gustong magbakasyon but also even yung mga nagnenegosyo,” Chua said.

(We become very affordable to all types of people who are traveling, not just those traveling for vacation but also those with businesses). (RGA/PIA Davao)

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