DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 26 December) – Most foreign tourists who visited the city this year were Americans, the City Tourism Office said.
At least 19,572 Americans visited the city from January to November 2018. Japanese visitors numbered 11,903, Chinese 10,034, Koreans 8,038, Australians 6,435, Indians 6,043, Canadians 5,062, Singaporeans 4,556, British 3,837, and Arabs 2,486.
Generose Tecson, city tourism head said on Wednesday that 2018 has been a great year for the tourism industry of Davao because of the opening of new domestic and international air routes and the holding of big events that drew several visitors.
She said the city’s aggressive promotion of Davao as a destination for meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE) “has also been instrumental in keeping our arrivals high.”
“But what’s best about Davao tourism is the cooperation and support of the private sector to all of the City Government’ programs. This makes us stand out from the rest of the places in the country,” she said.
She added they aim to level up tourism-related services and the MICE program in 2019 as they target to reach 2.5 million tourists next year.
“We also want to ensure that our tourism players get more involved by helping out with the formulation of our tourism masterplan. We also want more establishments to have themselves licensed and follow the guidelines set in our Tourism Code,” she said.
She said they expect more tourists to come next year via new direct flights to Davao.
“More than the numbers of foreign arrivals, we’d rather aim for tourists who visit to experience why life is in Davao and not just the usual tours and visits,” she said.
The city recently saw the opening of two international flights. The Davao-Hong Kong flights of Cathay Dragon was launched on October 28 and the Davao-Quanzhou of XiamenAir flights on December 18. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)