AFTER reaching the two-million mark for the tourist arrivals in Davao City for 2017, the Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) targets a seven percent increase for 2018.
Despite the Martial Law declaration in Mindanao, which slightly waned the tourist arrivals in Davao City for May to early June 2017, the tourist arrivals for the entire year still reached two million with exact record of 2,009,879.
"We are targeting at least seven percent increase this year. So we're targeting at least 2.2 million tourist arrivals for 2018 - enough to sustain the two million mark. We're hoping and doing the best for this year," CTOO head Generose Tecson said.
The record of the total tourist arrivals is dependent on the hotel accommodation and occupancy in the city, which only comprises of about 70 percent of the accommodation facilities in the city.
In 2017, the average stay of a tourist in Davao City was recorded to be 3.6 days and they spend an average of P4,270 daily. However in 2016, tourists stay longer in the city. Their stays last for an average of four days but they spend only about P3,960 daily.
In order to reach their target of tourist arrivals, Tecson said they will launch promotional activities and roadshow to areas in the country with existing direct flights to and from Davao City. This activity will also be conducted to help sustain the direct flights.
"Our packages that will be brought to Luzon and Visayas will be tailored fit with the places there. If you go to northern Luzon, you present them with packages promoting our beaches and the 11 tribes. They will see the difference that Davao City has with their place. When you go to places like Boracay and Cebu areas, we can promote our islands-to-highlands destinations -- from the mountains to the sea activities plus the 11 tribes. That's the marketing that we will be doing," she said.
Personally for Tecson, she would want to promote Davao City as a locator of peace.
With the visit of the foreign ambassadors in the city, Tecson said they were amazed as to the establishment of the Kadayawan Village where all the 11 tribes were showcased together in one compound.
The foreign visitors were amazed as to how the City Government was able to do that peacefully.
She mentioned a particular foreign ambassador, who said that if this similar village was put up in his country -- where Lumads and Moros are together in one village -- people might even start killing each other.
Because of this unity among different tribes, Tecson said it is actually the Dabawenyos that make Davao City attractive to tourists.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on February 15, 2018.
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