MAJOR hotels in Davao City are urging the government to intensify the promotion of local tourism to cushion the slow influx of foreign tourists due to the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
Royal Mandaya Hotel general manager Benjamen J. Banzon Jr. said hotel managers in the city have teamed up to streamline actions to propose to the government.
"[We want] to get support from the local and national tourism industries, the DOT (Department of Tourism) and the City Tourism [Operations Office], nga atong i-promote gyud ang local tourism kay mao gyud ang nakit-an nga temporarily would sustain the hotel industry," he said.
"Dili sa ta magsalig karon sa mga internationals in which there are series of travel bans nga makaapekto gyud sa atoa (We should not only rely on international travelers since travel bans has really affected us)," he added.
Earlier, Banzon reported that Royal Mandaya Hotel lost about 50 percent of its forecast revenues for this year due to the series of earthquakes since October and cancellation f hotel bookings due to travel bans in other countries.
He said the City Government may consult with the airlines on lowering fares on domestic travels and to intensify the campaign that it is safe to travel to local destinations.
"Mga ingon ana nga klase nga move dako kaayo nag matabang sa local hotels kung macontrol gyud ang kana nga klase nga mga issues (These kinds of initiatives are really a big help to local hotels to control the effect of these issues)," he said.
"We decided that we really need to exchange information, unite, and ask what kind of assistance that we will be needing from the government," Banzon added.
For the part of the Royal Mandaya Hotel, he said he is optimistic that the impact will be temporary.
"As a local hotel in Davao, we are really trying our best. In due time, kung magtinabangay ta, atoa gyud ning masulbad (If we work hand in hand, we will be able to solve this)," he said.
City Tourism Operation Office (CTOO) head Generose Tecson said the current situation of the local tourism industry is an opportunity for the stakeholders to upgrade their services and their staff.
"Our strong point has always been domestic tourism but this is through Mice (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions/Events). At this point also, everything is still fluid. We have to use this time to upgrade staff skills especially our frontliners and yes, package tours that are affordable and attractive", she said.
She said other tourism stakeholders must also be creative in promoting local tourist destinations.
"We have to be inventive together. Not just the hotels, but all of us. For sure, all the other local destinations will be promoting their places so we have to be able to come up with packages which are different and more memorable," she said.