Thursday, June 13, 2024

DOT Stages ‘Treasures of SOX’ Travel, Trade Expo In Manila

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DOT Stages ‘Treasures of SOX’ Travel, Trade Expo In Manila

720

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The Department of Tourism (DOT) is staging a three-day travel and trade expo to showcase the diverse crafts and tourism destinations of the Soccsksargen region and attract potential visitors from Manila.

The 6th Treasures of SOX: A Travel and Trade Expo is being held at the Midtown Atrium of Robinsons Place Manila and will run from June 7 to 9.

The DOT 12 (Soccsksargen) said this aims to show that the region, consisting of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos, is a “powerhouse of fresh and processed products,” such as tuna, pineapple, coffee, muscovado, coconut oil, bananas, pigs, and aquaculture products.

“This is not only a travel show but also one way to showcase all the treasures of Soccsksargen from the bounties of our farms, destinations, accommodations, and culture,” DOT-12 Director Nelia Arina said during a press conference on Saturday.

“Every booth that we have tells a story. In the region, we don’t only sell the products but also the memory. You really need to go to the region to inculcate within yourself the memories that you’re going to cherish from visiting, so, this expo would be very effective.”

Some of the products featured in the expo are T’nalak clothing and bags, brass accessories crafted by the T’boli of Lake Sebu, sweet pomelos freshly harvested from North Cotabato, and premium-grade Robusta coffee from Sultan Kudarat.

Arina also reiterated Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco’s earlier message that Soccsksargen “is open to both international and local tourists from other regions.”

“Security-wise, lahat naman ready (all are ready). On infrastructure and accessibility, we have certain areas that really need our assistance in terms of road network,” she said.

“In partnership with DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways), we have the Tourism Road Infrastructure Program, which has been a big help to some of our destinations.”

If one is from Luzon or the Visayas, Soccsksargen is accessible by air, either via General Santos City or Davao City.

On top of enticing leisure travelers to visit, the DOT is also working to invite more investors to explore opportunities in the region, Arina said.

On June 9, the DOT-12 will host a SOX investment forum in Makati, which is expected to gather at least 25 international and Manila-based companies.

“We also have incentives for our investors and we want to invite them to go to our region for free, and all the local governments in our region have pledged to support,” she said.

The region has been ramping up promotions for its tourism. Earlier this week, the DOT also successfully staged the Philippine Experience Program: Soccsksargen, letting foreign dignitaries and tourism stakeholders experience first-hand what the region’s destinations could offer. (PNA)