DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Sep) – Revenue losses of tourism-related businesses in Davao City were estimated at P1 billion just for the entire month of August as the local government cancelled all physical activities during the month-long Kadayawan Festival and restricted tourists from coming here to avoid mass gathering.
City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson told reporters in a press conference on Tuesday that her office recorded only 24,633 domestic travelers last month, a reduction of 88.51 percent from 214,451 of the same period last year.
The city also recorded a 94.54-percent decrease in foreign travelers, reporting only 955 last month from 16,874 of the same period last year.
Most of the air travelers were authorized persons outside residence or those who come to the city for work since tourism travel has been restricted to control the transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), except for locals within the neighboring areas of the city, Tecson said.
No revenues were generated from tourism last month, she added.
“We don’t see much for the tourism industry, except for domestic. That’s it for now, well, number one, the state of public health emergency has been extended until next year so tourism is limited towards domestic tourism,” Tecson said.
The state of public health emergency has been extended until September 12, 2021.
Tecson said that the city noted a good reception of the locals to the digital Kadayawan celebration, with many of them participating in online activities initiated by the city government.
“You can see people really miss Kadayawan. Although that’s not the number of people that we expected to participate but, at least, we got more than half of our target. That’s what gladdens our heart,” she said.
Although the tourism forecast remains gloomy by the end of the year, Tecson said she hopes that 2021 will be a better year for the city’s tourism industry.
“I wish I can say that everything is going to look bright and sunny for the tourism industry. but as long as the state of public health emergency is there, I don’t think there will be much changes,” she added.
Only 75 of the 236 accommodation facilities in Davao City reopened doors early this month after the Department of Tourism(DOT)-Davao issued them with certificates to operate under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)