Davao targets 7% increase in tourist arrivals to 2.14 million

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 Feb) – The tourism sector here targets to attract 2.14 million visitors to the city this year, which is higher by 7 percent compared with the tourists arrivals reported in 2017, but the perception of some tourists on security concern remains to be a challenge.

City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson expressed confidence they would reach the higher target for 2018 since they have seen a huge interest from curious visitors, despite the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

She said there is still much to be done to promote the city both domestically and internationally since there are still potential visitors who do not know much about Davao.

She acknowledged the importance of being a prime destination for meetings, incentives, conference, and exhibitions (MICE) because it would bring in more visitors, which would help the tourism-oriented establishments in the city, particularly hotels and restaurants.

“That’s really number one for us and we want it that way because these people will spend on hotels, conventions, after that they will go on a tour. This is an opportunity for us to show what we have in Davao, including what our neighboring areas have, so that they will come back here,” she said.

The tourism office estimated that on average, tourists stay 3.6 days with daily expenditure worth P4,270.

Tecson added that they are hoping the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) would fast track the selection of a third party entity that would craft the tourism master plan of the city.

The tourism master plan would bring all efforts for tourism development towards a single direction, she said.

“With the plan, we will know what direction to take, where to start with promotions. We can plan what areas to focus on and give our attention to. This plan is not just for next year but also in the coming years,” she said.

Tecson added they expect the crafting of the plan will begin by the second quarter and will be completed in the third quarter.

“TIEZA wants consultations with the private sector, all tourism stakeholders, and city government as to what we really want to happen, for them to get the real situation in Davao – what kind of branding is needed for Davao tourism,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)