TOURISM FRONTLINERS. At least 136 tourist van drivers complete the 'Tourist Driver Seminar' conducted by the Department of Tourism in the Caraga Region (DOT-13) from Aug. 3-5, 2022 in Butuan City. The DOT-13 underscores the importance of the role that van drivers play in the tourism sector, being front-liners and sources of information of foreign and local tourists. (Photo courtesy of DOT-13)

BUTUAN CITY – At least 136 tourist van drivers here have completed a series of seminars for the promotion of tourism in the Caraga region.

In a statement Wednesday, the Department of Tourism in the Caraga Region (DOT-13) said the seminars conducted on August 3 to 5 aim to “develop and expand the role of van drivers and their operators.”

According to DOT-13, public utility drivers are considered “front-liners and sources of tourism information to foreign and local tourists in the region,” which comprises the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur.

Caraga Region has three accredited tourist land transport groups that operate vans and caters to the transportation needs of local and foreign tourists.

The DOT-13 said the activity also served as an awareness campaign for tourist van drivers and operators in the region, while enabling them to “learn and appreciate the nature and benefits of tourism.”

DOT-13 Director Nelia Arina said more seminars will be scheduled as the activity also serves as a prerequisite for accreditation for land transport operators in the region.

Aside from land transportation, the DOT-13 also reported the completion last month of tourism seminars for 51 pump boat operators in Dinagat Islands.

The pump boat operators are currently engaged in transporting local and foreign tourists to the different tourist spots in the island province. (PNA)