DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 March) – Tourist arrivals in Region XI last year reached 2.290 million, increasing by 25.37 percent compared to 2013’s 1.827 million.
Data from the regional office of the Department of Tourism are based on the hotel occupancy report of the accommodation establishments in the region.
Majority of the tourists last year were domestic travelers at 2.151 million, followed by foreign at 132,518 and overseas or Balikbayans at 7,012.
“We hope to hit 2.6 million in tourist arrivals this year,” said Roberto P. Alabado III, regional director of DOT XI.
He said Wednesday during the Club 888 forum at Marco Polo Davao that they are presently intensifying the programs. One of the activities that they will conduct this year is the Visit Davao Fun Sale (VDFS).
VDFS will be conducted on April 3 to May 17 where the malls, tour operators, accommodation facilities, spas and other sectors of the tourism industry will offer huge discounts. The participating malls, for instance, would offer discounts by about 40 to 70 percent.
The participating malls include Abreeza Ayala Mall, Gaisano Mall of Davao, Gaisano Mall of Toril, NCCC Mall, S & R Membership Shopping Center, Robinsons Abreeza, SM City Davao, SM Lanang Premier and Victoria Plaza Mall.
There will be also the conduct of Visit Samal Islands on March to May and International Boulder Face Challenge on April 25-26 as part of DOT’s “Visit the Philippines Year” campaign.
Maria Lourdes D. Lim, regional director of National Economic and Development Authority, said the region was included on the top tourism growth areas in the country. To draw more tourists, she said the DOT XI is doing massive promotion of the region.
Tourism infrastructure, she said, is also being established for easy access on the tourism destinations.
Data from Department of Public Works and Highways showed that 30 road projects worth P2.022 billion are up for implementation this year.
Some of those include the upgrading of circumferential road at the east side of Island Garden City of Samal, Lomondao-Salaysay-Arakan road leading to Mt. Apo, Lomondao in Marilog, Davao City and concreting of Bantacan road leading to Tadia Falls in New Bataan, Compostela Valley.