PROMOTING sustainable tourism, the local government unit of Mati City in Davao Oriental is implementing a “One Day Resort Rest Day” weekly in all beach resorts in Mayo (Dahican) and Pujada Bay this year.
Speaking during the Kapehan Sa Dabaw at the SM City Davao – Annex Monday, April 23, Mati City tourism officer Arlene Llamada underscored that this initiative will soon be implemented after a series of Information Dissemination Campaigns (IECs).
“We have an ongoing IEC for this program, the resorts owners were gathered to inform that they should choose one day in a week for the resort rest day,” she said adding it should fall on weekdays not weekends as the latter is usually the visiting days of tourists.
Llamada said the program will give time for every resort to rest from people and an opportunity for the owners and resort staff to conduct general cleaning, repairs, and any similar activities necessary.
“So far, all the resort owners are very positive about this program,” she added.
At present, there are 17 registered beach resorts in Mati City nestling within its Mayo and Pujada Bays.
“But there are some resorts, which are currently operating but not yet registered, this is usually because some are still in its trial stage,” Llamada said.
Fearing the now popular beach, Dahican, to recreate mistakes of Boraca, Llamada said the Mayo and Pujada Bays are strictly a protected area and resorts operating in the beach are setting up rubberized septic tanks individually.
Also, Mati City Mayor Carlo Rabat, in a previous interview plans to put up common water sewage system and water treatment facility to clean water wastes before going to the sea.
Asked on the safety of tourists enjoying the waves of Dahican Beach, Llamada said, all resorts are mandated by the LGU to have at least two lifeguards each.
Tourist arrivals peaking
For the past three years, Llamada said tourism arrivals in Mati City have been increasing.
In 2017, Mati received 272,000 local and foreign tourists, an 85.03-percent increase from 147,000 tourists in 2016.
For January until March of this year, around 34,000 tourists visited Mati.
“In Holy Week 2018 alone, some 10,000 tourists came in Mati to visit Dahican Beach, not counting the tourists who visited other sites in the city,” Llamada said.
Mati City’s tourism arrival for this year is targeted to increase 20 percent from last year’s data.
“Every year, more and more tourists are interested in our city. We are targeting only 20 percent increase because we also have to consider our carrying capacity,” she said.
The city has only 541 rooms capacity (air-conditioned and non-aircon) from 19 registered hotels in the city.
Room rates average P450 to over P1,000 per night. The city also has 17 restaurants to cater tourists.
“We are closely monitoring these establishments because we are dealing with DOT for the accreditation and they have to meet the standards of the industry,” she said.
“What is good in our place is that you can feel the nature and community. Also, we have proper coordination with different sectors to protect the tourists coming in,” Llamada added.