DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 March) – The lack of hotels and a convention center might hinder the city’ bid to become a major tourism destination and venue for meetings, exhibitions and other events, the City Tourism Office said.
CTO head Generose Tecson told reporters on Monday they are urging potential investors to consider the city as an expansion area to fill the need for more facilities as a tourism destination.
She said the city may need more hotels in view of the declaration of President Xi Jinping of China to bring two million Chinese tourists to the Philippines this year.
The tourism office has yet to release the latest tourist arrivals in the city but the Chinese have been among the top consistent visitors.
“When Chinese come by the thousand, imagine how many rooms would be needed, and at the rate our conventions are going right now. But that’s a very happy problem for us,” she said.
In an email sent on Tuesday, Davao City Investment Promotions Center head Lemuel Ortonio acknowledged the concern of the tourism sector for more accommodation facilities after seeing an increase in the number of conferences and conventions.
“Apart from the growing number of tourists, the city has also been hosting a number of conferences and conventions lately,” he said.
He added that they always highlight the dire lack of hotels to potential investors.
“Whenever we receive interested investors and business groups looking for investment opportunities in the city, we always highlight the need for hotels in the city,” he said.
Ortonio said several foreign and Filipino investors have shown interest to build tourism facilities here.
“On the challenges, there is not much of a problem in attracting per se because there is already a growing interest and spotlight on the city,” he said.
However, he said that the “challenge is actually convincing them that their investment will flourish not just during the term of PRRD (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) in the next five and a half years, but for the long-term,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)