DAVAO Region’s tourist arrivals in 2016 reached 2,110,210, exceeding the two million target and increasing by 11.4 percent against 2015 record, according to the data presented by National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Regional Director Maria Lourdes Lim during the Kapihan sa PIA held at Philippine Information Agency (PIA) last Friday, February 3.

“This increase in the number of tourist arrivals was attributed to the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Local Government Units' extensive promotion of the region as the major tourism destination through the conduct of festivals and events region-wide with the full support and cooperation of private sectors,” Lim said, adding election and post-election related activities and travels most likely helped with the increase of visitors in the region.

SHe also said that big events after the campaign period conducted in Davao region such as Sulong Pilipinas Series and the summits organized by the Office of the President also contributed to the increased tourist arrivals.

In 2016, there were more than P23.9 billion receipts from tourists, both domestic and foreign. This amount is 9.1 percent higher compared to the receipts made from tourists in 2015.

DOT-Davao regional director Robbie Alabado also reported in a separate statement that tourists last an average of three days during their visit in the region and spends an average of P4,000 for travel, food, and accommodation per day.

“More tourists are appreciating what the region’s tourist spots can offer especially with Davao City increasingly becoming a preferred venue for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibition (Mice),” Lim said.

However, there had been a record of more than 1.2 inbound passengers (8,668 flights) as of the third quarter of the year, short by about more than 300,000 passengers to the target of more than 1.5 inbound passengers (13,321 flights).

Some 1.3 outbound passengers (8,668 flights) were also recorded in the region while we target for 1.6 passengers (13,319 flights).