Tourist arrivals in Davao City down by 19%

TOURIST arrivals in Davao City dropped by 19 percent to 123,343 in June 2017 from 152,678 in the same period last year.

Despite the decrease for the month of June, the City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) did note a 4.1 percent increase in the first half of the year. From January to June this year, tourist arrivals increased to 933,936 from 896,983 in the same period last year.

"Nagkapondo man tayo from January up tayo, kaya ngayon nagsisikap kami na for Kadayawan mag increase siya, huwag sanang bumaba," CTOO officer-in-charge Generose Tecson told reporters on Tuesday, July 25.

Earlier, Tecson said the tourism sector was badly hit by the declaration of martial law, noting a loss of around P20 million in tourism receipts in the first three days of the martial law declaration.

Tecson said that they are hopeful that the city's tourism sector can recover in the Kadayawan Festival.

She said P27 million has been allotted for this year's Kadayawan Festival.

"We are happy that someone sponsored for our billboards nationwide. Meron tayo sa Edsa, Cebu, Dumaguete, Iloilo, at kung saan may mga direct flights, this in preparation for Kadayawan Festival," she said.

She added that they intend to make sure that many people will be able to visit Davao City to experience Kadayawan despite the extension of Martial law. She added that the declaration did not make changes in their plans.

"Walang mababago eversince na nagplano tayo, utos na Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to ensure na kasama natin ang ating security forces. The execom meetings andyan sila talaga, when we plan the events we also have that in our mind also," Tecson added.

She said a security plan and own security team were also among the requirements asked by Public Safety and Security Command Center for those who will conduct rave parties during the Kadayawan Festival.

Meanwhile, aside from the Kadayawan Festival, Tecson said they will conduct a forum for tourism stakeholders in September to ask ideas on what the private and government agencies will do after the martial law.

"In the industry we are not taking any chances, we will use this time to plan ahead with Air Asia's announcement na merong Kuala Lumpur flights, siyempre magiging hub tayo. Ang tourism industry may plano, ano ang vision natin, saan natin gusto dalhin itong tourism natin. So yung stakeholders natin lahat ng issues na ito and together, kasi pangit naman stakeholders ang mga plano. Sila plaplanuhin direction what to take para after pag lift ng martial law, pagdating ng AirAsia flights ready tayong i-meet ang capacities natin, ilang conventions ang kaya natin, ilang bisita ang kaya natin pwede bang mag-homestay so ganoon ang gagawin natin," she added.
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