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By Bernadette H. Carreon

DAVAO, Philippines (Palau Horizon, Nov. 240 — Davao is now an alternative shopping destination for tourists from Palau.

Sonia Garcia, regional director of the Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT), said the influx of visitors from Palau in the last seven months has grown.

Garcia said more and more Palauans are coming to Davao for leisure and shopping.

Garcia said that Palau’s proximity to Davao and the launch of the Asian Spirit flight between two areas have attracted Palauans to make this city as an alternative shopping destination.

The Asian Spirit flight from Koror to Davao was launched in April. It flies three times a week to Davao and Manila.

Garcia described Davao as a "gradual metropolis," less crowded than Manila and offers cheaper goods compared to Guam.

Garcia said in exchange, more Filipino workers from Davao are being employed in Palau.

She said that with the growing tourism between Palau and Davao, trade could come in next.

She said DOT is eyeing to include Palau as part of Davao’s wildlife and dive adventure project, aimed at attracting more tourists to enjoy both areas.

She said DOT is planning to launch a wildlife adventure in Davao and dive Palau package to foreign tourists especially visitors from the Europe.

She said that from this promotion tourists could spend days in both Palau and Davao.

Garcia said, it is expected that upcoming exchanges not only in tourism will be happening between Davao and Palau.

She said aside from tourism, Davao could also offer its hospitals and schools to Palau.

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