Davao City targets 1.8M tourists in 2023

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 31 Jan) – The Davao City Tourism Office targets to attract around 1.8 million visitors for this year.

Students join a parade during Araw ng Dabaw celebrations. MindaNews file photo

Jennifer Romero, head of the local tourism office, said during Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday that a number of big conventions and other events have been lined up this year, in which the tourism stakeholders hope would gradually bring the number of arrivals to the pre-pandemic level.

She said the local government recorded 897,406 arrivals for the entire 2022, significantly lower compared with the 2.5 million reported in 2019, the banner year for the city’s tourism industry.

She said the city targets to receive 2.5 million visitors in 2024 and 2.7 million in 2025.

But Romeo added that it most likely that the city would reach the same level as 2019 with the staging of big events, including the MICECON 2023 (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, and Exhibitions Conference) and Ironman 70.3 in time for the celebration of Araw ng Dabaw in March, and other major conventions this year.

“That’s a very ambitious but workable target for this year,” she said.

Romero said tourism stakeholders are banking on the strength of the city, being a destination for MICE events, to increase the number of tourists in the city.

She said around 700 are expected to participate in the MICECON 2023, the country’s premier gathering for professionals in the industry from March 1 to 3.

“We have upcoming events and restrictions have loosened up already. All roads lead to Davao,” she said.

In 2019, the city government won the hosting bid for the MICECON 2020 scheduled for September 28 to 30, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus disease pandemic.

Romero said the accommodation establishments are preparing for the arrival of participants in the MICECON 2023. Official hotel partners include Acacia Hotel Davao, DusitD2 Davao Hotel, Park Inn by Radisson Davao, Rogen Inn, Seda Abreeza, and Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.

She said the thrust of the local government is to stabilize the tourism sector now that restrictions have been relaxed.

She said the tourism industry is the third biggest contributor to the revenues of the local government.

“That is one thing that we need to work hard on to increase revenue returns from here on,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)