MINDANAO’s tourism regional directors and Undersecretary Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar (center), who formulated the intra-regional Colors of Mindanao campaign, don clothing that showcase fabric made by indigenous communities in southern Philippines during the launching event on May 2 in Cagayan de Oro City. 

THE TOURISM department has launched a new campaign focusing on the diverse attractions of Mindanao, the southern Philippine islands that have long been saddled with a sweeping perception of bandits and lawlessness.   

It is high time that travelers and tourists think of Mindanao as a top destination in the Philippines,Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said at the launching of the Colors of Mindanao campaign on Monday.    

The island region is blessed with a multitude of beautiful destinations, historical sites, and cultural wonders. The Colors of Mindanao campaign aims to attract different types of travelers to the region, from divers, eco-adventurers, and beach bums — to history buffs, foodies, and the faithful,she said.  

The marketing campaign covers five regions Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, CARAGA, Davao, and SOCCSKSARGENwith color themes that correspond to tourism products.  

These are: blue for dive tourism, teal for sun and beach, green for ecotourism, brown for farm tourism, violet for culture and heritage, red for adventure and sports, orange for food tourism, and yellow for faith tourism.   

These were formulated by the five Mindanao regional offices in a bid to foster unity in diversity, sustainability, inclusivity, and a more progressive tourism not only in Mindanao but also in the country,the tourism department said.   

The new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has an independent tourism ministry that has authority to develop its own programs as well as coordinate with national agencies for collaborative travel campaigns.    

This campaign also highlights halal and Muslim-friendly tourism, one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the world,Ms. Puyat said.  

As one of the major new products of the DoT (Department of Tourism), halal tourism will bring special attention to the attractions and cuisine in Mindanao and help boost the tourism economy in the area,she added. 

The Mindanao Development Authority said the campaign is also part of joint tourism initiatives under the BIMP-EAGA sub-regional grouping that covers Brunei Darussalam and parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. MSJ