Photo credit to Davao CIO
Photo credit to Davao CIO

Health, safety priorities amid aim to reach target tourist arrivals

THE Davao Tourism Association (Data) said it will maintain to prioritize health, safety, and security in its aim to achieve 1.8 million tourist arrivals in Davao City in 2023.

In an interview on Davao City Disaster Radio, August 1, 2023, Data President Nicole Hao Bian-Ledesma recalled how the tourism industry in the city declined due to the pandemic in the last three years.

The official said that during the pandemic, initiatives were carried out together with local government units (LGUs) and the City Tourism Operation Office (CTOO) to take part in various programs in a bid to help the industry.

“Conducting training, kahit through webinars lang (even through webinars), para (so that) we continue to learn and be able to adapt to the pandemic kasi (because) there’s no going back anymore, and ‘di rin pwedeng matulog lang tayo diba? Kailangan go go go ‘yong business… (we can’t be complacent, we need to continue our business operations) ‘yong tourism natin… [this is] for our own [good] and for the city,” Ledesma said.

Ledesma also emphasized that the tourism sector should not be complacent despite the gradual revival of different sectors after the pandemic. She said they are creating their own risk management plans and sustainability road maps as a response and preparation for unexpected emergencies like the pandemic.

She also urged business sectors to be very careful when it comes to sanitation and health and safety protocols.

With the incoming celebration of the “Kadayawan Festival”, the CTOO targets more than 200,000 tourist arrivals in the city this month of August 2023, exceeding the 150,000-200,000 in the previous years.

“When we celebrate Kadayawan, it’s really to appreciate our bountiful harvest, and also appreciate our roots, the richness of our cultural history; that no other cities can boast about that; that we have our eleven tribes and we need to remember that [is] something for us to be proud of,” Ledesma said.

The Kadayawan opens on August 10 until August 20, 2023. Jeramme Leahbelle Galila Misamen, NDDU Intern

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