TOURISM industry in Davao Region grew by 26 percent as tourist arrivals reached 2.2 million for the first semester of the year as compared to 1.7 million tourists in the same period in 2018.
Department of Tourism (DOT)-Davao Director Tanya Rabat-Tan said the 2.2 million tourists who visited the region from January to June 2019 have poured a total of P27.3 billion tourism receipts, up by 26.38 percent against P21.6 billion in the same period in 2018.
“Big factor of this growth in both tourist arrivals and tourism receipts is the launching of direct international flights to Davao City,” she said on Monday, October 7, during DOT-Davao’s Accomplishments and Updates presentation at the Seda Abreeza Hotel in Davao City.
The regional tourism department has targeted 4.3 million tourist arrivals by the end of the year.
In sustaining the international flights, she said road shows and travel missions are already set to promote Davao Region and Mindanao as a whole to international markets where Davao has direct link and vice versa.
She mentioned a Manado, Indonesia travel road show with Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is happening this October or November.
Travel and trade missions to Qatar and Taiwan are also eyed within the year or early next year. Around 50 travel agents from Hong Kong are also set to visit Davao City sometime in November to promote Davao-Hong Kong flight.
At present, Davao City has five international direct air links -- Singapore; Hong Kong; Quanzhou, China; Qatar; and Manado, Indonesia.
These routes are currently being served by six airlines, namely, Cebu Pacific, SilkAir, XiamenAir, Qatar Airways, Cathay Dragon, and Garuda Indonesia.
“We will be closely coordinating with these airlines and markets to do promotions with Philippine Tourism Board,” Rabat-Tan said.
In her presentation, the regional director revealed Davao City recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals with 1,267,799 combined foreign and domestic tourists. This is followed by Compostela Valley (512,0640), Davao del Norte(321,086), Davao Oriental (77,913), Davao del Sur (50,634), and Davao Occidental (188).
Foreign tourists are mainly from the United States with 12,035 tourists, China (9,366), Japan (6,647), Korea (4,601), and United Kingdom (4,566).
Emerging foreign markets in the region include Australia, India, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Canada.
“Tourists coming to Davao City are a mix of travel and leisure, and business tourists,” Rabat-Tan said.