THE Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) targets more than 150,000 tourist arrivals for this year’s 80th Araw ng Dabaw compared to last year’s arrival of only around 147,000, said CTOO official Gene Rose Tecson.

This year’s Araw ng Dabaw will officially commence on March 1 with Duwa Dabaw, a month-long sports activities.

A thanksgiving Mass will be celebrated at San Pedro Cathedral to be followed by the official opening of the two-week long celebration at the Rizal Park.

Included in the festival’s schedule of activities is the month-long solo exhibit of Dabawenya visual artist Elenita Butch Dumlao.

The exhibit, "Complexed Simplicity", opened Tuesday, February 21, at Museo Dabawenyo and will be on show until March 23.

The Datu Bago Awards and the Mutya ng Dabaw will be held on March 12 and March 15 respectively.

“We are promoting our events through social media and other outlets. May we urge Dabawenyos to also invite their family and friends to come, visit Davao,” said Tecson.

Two years ago, annual tourist arrivals in the city reached up to more than 1.7 million. This increased by around 100,000 in 2016. Now, as the CTOO targets to reach their target of more than 2 million tourists for 2017, they plan to reach out and encourage more tourists to come and visit Davao City and see what activities it can offer for its 80th anniversary.