Davao tourism sector loses P20 million

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 1 June) – The tourism industry in the city suffered a revenue loss of P20 million for the first three days of martial law, according to Davao City Tourism Office (CTO) head Generose Tecson.

Speaking in a press conference Thursday, Tecson said hotels suffered the most with P18-million loss due to cancellations of room bookings and conferences. The tour operators, transport sector, and restaurants, meanwhile, lost P2 million.

Tecson said they are expecting such an impact on the tourism sector as an initial reaction of the organizers and tourists to martial law that was declared after clashes broke out between government forces and the Maute Group in Marawi City on May 23.

“Tourism promotion always works on perception. Based on what you read on the news, you will back out initially. But we are hoping, the hotels and conference sector, that the cancellations will translate to rebookings later on,” she said.

She said the tourism sector will soon recover, with an assurance from the security sector to ensure the safety of the city, which is the hometown of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

“They know it’s a natural reaction. Let’s see in three to four weeks. That is still acceptable for now,” she said.

Tecson encouraged groups and other government agencies who have scheduled to hold their activities here to not cancel but only postpone to a later date to help the city recover.

The city’s tourist arrivals surged to 459,104 for the first quarter of 2017, higher by 13 percent compared to the 405,576 arrivals recorded during the same period last year.

Records from the CTO showed that the bulk of the visitors were domestic tourists at 423,714, followed by foreign visitors at 29,889, and “balikbayans” at 5,501. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)