By Antonio L. Colina IV
Davao City – The tourism sector here is eyeing to attract 2.14 million visitors in this year, a figure that is seven percent higher than the tourist arrivals recorded last year.
City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson said while the perception of some tourists on security concern in the city remains to be a challenge, they are confident to reach the target, adding that they observed a huge interest from curious visitors despite the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
Tecson 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 1 for us and we want it that way because these people will spend on hotels, conventions, after that they will 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 go 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 would craft the tourism masterplan of the city.
The tourism master plan will bring all efforts for tourism development towards a single direction, she said.