Davao City hits 2 million tourist target
Tourist arrivals in Davao City in 2017 had surpassed the local government’s target of two million arrivals.
Officials had considered this a positive development even amid security concerns in Mindanao, which led to the implementation of Martial Law all over the island, including the city.
Records at the Davao City Tourism Operations Office showed that a total of 2,009,879 tourists arrived in the city between January to December last year.
Domestic tourists still dominated the figure with 1,835,798.
However, even the number of domestic tourists arriving in the city had increased compared to the 2016 record of 1,716,224.
The biggest increase was noted in August 2017 — in time for the Kadayawan Festival – at 185,660 compared to the August 2016 figure of 171,851.
Foreign tourist arrival data also showed a slight increase last year with 126,209 compared to the 2016 record of 124,863.
The top 10 2017 foreign markets: USA, 20,779; Japan, 12,510; China, 9,231; Korea,7,550; Australia, 5,929; India, 4,976; Singapore, 4,040; Canada, 4,016; UK, 3,282; Saudi Arabia, 2,371.
The number of Balikbayans or returning residents also went up to 47,872 compared to the 2016 figure of 23,256.
Generose Tecson, chief of the Tourism Operations Office, credited the increase in tourist arrivals to the strong partnership between the local government and the private and public sectors.
“With the support of Mayor Sara, both the private and public sectors of Davao City have rallied to work together and achieved the breaking of the two million mark in visitor arrivals in Davao City,” she said.
She also underscored the role of the security forces and the city government’s private industry partners in making Davao City attractive to tourists.
“What makes this doubly special is the fact that the city is still under Martial Law. Life is indeed here in Davao,” Tecson said. CIO