AN OFFICIAL from the Department of Tourism-Davao Region (DOT-Davao) remains optimistic for the region's tourism industry for the year 2022 amid the ongoing threat of new Covid-19 variants.

DOT-Davao Director Tanya Rabat-Tan said during the #DOTXI2021 virtual accomplishment report that compared to 2020, the industry had somewhat improved in 2021.

"Looking back at 2020, when the Covid-19 hit the tourism industry the hardest, and comparing the developments in 2021, the outlook for tourism seems brighter and more optimistic in 2022," Rabat-Tan said on Friday, January 14.

The tourism head admitted that the industry's recovery is being hampered by the emerging new Covid-19 variants, including the Delta and Omicron.

"But it has become an ordeal that we're more knowledgeable to confront, thanks to our more cautious practices in following health protocols as well as to the arrivals of the vaccines and boosters that kept the industry up and running the entire year," she added.

The DOT official also saw the gradual recovery of domestic tourism with the "safe" reopening of the region's local destination, which helped mitigate the impact on jobs and businesses in the sector.

She also said last year also saw emerging consumer trends that "reshaped" how people currently travel.

"Including the emergence of new niches and market segments with greater focus now on safety protocols and more contactless tourism experiences," she said.

Rabat-Tan said the rebuilding of tourism is their top priority amid the current crisis by finding other opportunities on how the region can rethink and "reshape a more resilient tourism" in the future.

She also lauded the Davao City Government, including the Davao Tourism Association and its stakeholders, for the success of the Bakuna by the Sea, which not only vaccinated more tourism sector workers and allied industries but also won third place for best tourism practice in 2021 Pearl Awards organized by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines.

The Bakuna by the Sea, launched in July 2021, was able to vaccinate 16,045 workers.

During the presentation, DOT-Davao reported a total of 452 accredited tourism establishments in the region. According to the breakdown, 219 are from Davao City, 107 from Davao del Norte, 86 from Davao Oriental, 29 from Davao de Oro, and 11 from Davao del Sur.