DAVAO City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) is currently rejoicing for the two-million tourist arrival record that the city was able to reach for 2017.
The City Information Office said in a statement that the records at the Davao City Tourism Operations Office showed that a total of 2,009,879 tourists arrived in the city between January to December last year.
CTOO head Generose Tecson said that this is an increase from the almost 1.7 million tourist arrivals in 2016.
In the data provided, a major chunk of the arrivals was composed of domestic arrivals with 1,835,798. This had increased from 2016's tourist arrivals of only 1,716,224.
The biggest increase of tourist arrivals for 2017 was noted in August 2017 during the Kadayawan Festival at 185,660 compared to the August 2016 tourist arrivals of 171,851.
Foreign tourist arrival data also increased to 126,209 of 2017 from only 124,863 tourist arrivals in 2016.
The top 10 2017 foreign markets were the United States with 20,779 arrivals; Japan at 12,510; China at 9,231; Korea with 7,550; Australia at 5,929; India at 4,976; Singapore at 4,040; Canada with 4,016; United Kingdom at 3,282; and Saudi Arabia at 2,371.
The number of balikbayans or returning residents also went up to 47,872 compared to the 2016 figure of 23,256.
"We attribute it to the strong private-public partnership of Davaoeños and the strong support of Mayor Sara and our Security Forces. We are also grateful for the big support of RD (regional director) Robby Alabado and his staff," Tecson said.
Despite Mindanao being under Martial from May 23, 2017, Tecson said the tourism in Davao City still has performed well especially during and after the Kadayawan Festival.
"The success of Kadayawan bolstered the trust and faith of people to come to Davao in spite of Martial Law and they did!" she added.
As the tourist arrivals in the City is constantly making a 5 to 7 percent increase since 2015, Tecson said they are aiming for a 7 percent increase this 2018.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on January 12, 2018.
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