Tourists seen to hit 2.2-M

THE CITY Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) is projecting an increase of about seven percent to 2.2 million the number of tourists this year as it breached the two million mark last year.



CTOO head Regina Rosa B. Tecson said yesterday in Wednesdays @ Habi at Kape in Abreeza Mall that they are optimistic to hit the target because of the additional direct international link.

The new connectivity is the Davao to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia route, which is serviced by budget carrier AirAsia.

Last year, the CTOO recorded 2.009 million visitors, including 1.835 million domestic tourists. The number in tourist arrivals increased from 1.864 million in 2016.

Data from CTOO showed that the top foreign markets as of last year were those from the United States of America where there were 20,779 visitors followed by those from Japan at 12,510, China at 9,231, Korea at 7,550, Australia at 5,929, India at 4,976, Singapore at 4,040, United Kingdom at 3,282 and Saudi Arabia at 2,371.

The city government through CTOO, Tecson said, is boosting efforts to promote the city that it is safe for tourists and investors.

“What we want to do is to change their perception about Davao. There are still some who perceived Davao that it is unsafe. This is still a big a challenge for us but we have to assure them that Davao is safe,” Tecson said.

Even with the declaration of Martial Law last year, she said there were about 200 Filipino-Americans and 250 Filipino-Canadians that visited in the city. She said the Filipino-Canadians, for instance, went to the tribal village at Magsaysay Park and tried the “Duterte tour” package.

The Dutrte tour package includes going to the house of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, his favorite restaurants, Public Safety and Command Center, Museo Dabawenyo, House of Hope and Matina Town Square.

The CTOO is focusing on the existing direct routes that service the city, including the Davao-Singapore route. The office also targeted to capture the Filipino community in the County of Kaua’i in Hawaii, which recently signed a sisterhood agreement with the city government.


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