Davao Region tourism revenues down by 93.7% in 2020

Spelunkers in Mawab, Compostela Valley. File photo courtesy of the ComVal Tourism Office

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 April) – Revenues from the tourism sector of Davao Region went down to P3.4 billion last year or a decrease of 93.7 percent from P54.2 billion in 2019, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat reported on Thursday.

In a virtual press conference streamed live over Philippine Information Agency-Davao’s Facebook page, Puyat said efforts have been currently worked out to revive the sector, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, in areas with few cases.

She said tourism activities are permitted in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

She said that as much as she wanted to open up the tourism sites in areas under MGCQ for domestic travelers, Puyat emphasized that the decision remains with the local government officials who are in a position to assess the COVID-19 situation in their areas.

Davao City remains under a GCQ, and the rest of Davao Region under MGCQ until April 30.

As tourism-related establishments have yet to recover from the impact of the pandemic, Puyat said the government allocated a cash assistance worth P118.9 million to 23,786 workers in the tourism sector in the region as of Thursday.

She said the agency expanded last February their beneficiaries to include tricycle drivers, massage therapists, and other workers directly benefiting from tourism.

DOT-Davao director Tanya Rabat-Tan reported a total of 41 accommodation establishments in Davao Region have temporarily closed due to the pandemic.

Women belonging to the Ata tribe from Barangay Tabak, Paquibato District in Davao City show how they mill rice manually at the Kadayawan Cultural Village in Davao City on 18 August 2019. The Atas are among 11 Mindanao tribes showcasing their cultures during the city’s Kadayawan Festival. MindaNews photo by GG BUENO

Last March 31, homegrown Apo View Hotel announced it would temporarily cease operations due to COVID-19.

In a statement, the management of the 156-room first-class hotel said it decided to close its doors until further notice as the threat of COVID-19 continues to affect “every sector across the globe,” with tourism among the industries which took a heavy beating from the scourge.

On June 15, 2020, the 22-year-old five-star Marco Polo Davao ceased operations due to COVID-19.

Puyat said the agency would ensure to work with establishments such as hotels, resorts, and inns to pass the health and safety protocols in preparation for the reopening of the tourism sector once the community restrictions in the country ease. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)