Wednesday, January 4, 2017

READ: ► Duterte main draw as more tourists visit Davao City

A tourism official here said that long time-Davao City mayor, and now President Rodrigo R. Duterte has become the top endorser of the city in attracting both domestic and foreign tourists.
In a statement, City Tourism Office (CTO) officer-in-charge (OIC) Generose Tecson said they were expecting 15 to 17 percent in tourist arrivals for 2016, although they have yet to receive the reports from the hotels here.
“PRRD (President Rodrigo R. Dutete) has been the city’s No. 1 endorser, so who could resist him?,” she said.
She added that the city was able to host more conferences this year, which she attributed to the efforts of the private tourism partners to push the city as a premier location for meetings incentives conferences and exhibitions (MICE).
Ken Kapulong, chair of the MICE Davao, said that there were at least 13 different event organizers, which availed of the DOT’s MICE program for 2016, as compared with nine conventions in 2015.
“The list does not include those conventions that did not avail of the program but still push through,” he said.
Department of Tourism (DOT) 11 director Roberto Alabado III said that the region also experienced a boost in the tourist arrivals, and that it must sustain its promotion campaign under the MICE program.
“PRRD’s various meetings in Davao has increased the MICE tourist arrivals which in turn provided business for our tourism stakeholders – hotels, restaurants, convention centers, transportation, resorts and even our pasalubong vendors and spa services,” he said.
Tecson added that the Duterte administration must work on improving the F. Bangoy International Airport, specifically the rehabilitation of its terminal and the construction of an additional taxiway.
“Then, of course, we need help with more connectivity especially international (flights), although we also need to encourage more investments in the area of accommodations – more hotel rooms preferably international hotel chains in the city as well as convention facilities,” she said.
She added the new administration must put in place a more sustainable tourism development plan nationwide.
“They need to help local government units (LGUs) understand that there is more to tourism than putting up of hotels & resorts or opening up of new destinations, because we need to take care as well our natural resources, so the tourism development can be beneficial to the communities,” she said.