Davao City tourist arrivals up by 24% in 2013

February 7, 2014 6:29 am 

DAVAO CITY, Feb. 6 — The Davao City tourism office said Wednesday that tourists arrivals here in 2013 totaled 1,429,027.

The data was reported by Department of Tourism regional director Art Boncato at the Club 888 business and tourism forum of Marco Polo Hotel here.

Boncato said the city tourism office headed by Lysette Marquez submitted to their office the latest figure which is 24.7 percent higher than the 2012 arrivals recorded at 1,075,000.

He said the data was gathered from 165 accommodation establishments operating in the city.

The growth, Boncato said, can be attributed to three factors namely, 1) more airline seats to Davao City; 2) more rooms are available, currently numbering 6,000; and 3) the aggressive campaign to position Davao as eco-tourism and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions/Events) destination.

"It could be a tough one for the sector this year with reference to the 24.7 percent increase in 2013," he said.

He, however, said that this early, a good number of events are lined up where national conventions are happening here within the first four months of the year as he cited for instance the national conventions of the medical profession headed by the Philippine College of Surgeons that involves the different medical fields.

The tourism sector is optimistic that the growth will continue.

Boncato also said linking Davao City to other cities in the country is of big help to the industry even as he said they welcome routes such as the Davao-Bacolod, Davao-Iloilo, Davao-Dipolog, Davao-Puerto Princesa.

"We are also dribbling our negotiations for more international flights firstly with the BIMP-EAGA region," he said.

He said they hope to open routes from Davao to a city in Korea just like the Davao-Manado route.

"We continue to look for destinations both domestic and international," Boncato added. (PNA)

LAP/ASA/DIGNA D. BANZON/LDP

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