Million pesos loss

Tourism suffers setback as tourists avoid Mindanao
THE LOCAL tourism sector has been battered by the imposition of Martial Law, with an estimated P20 million loss in income during the first three days of the declaration alone.

Of the P20 million, City Tourism Operations officer Gene Rose Tecson told TIMES that about P18 million is from the hotel and accommodations sector as events and room reservations have been cancelled.

Tecson’s office was targeting 2 million tourists to visit the city this year but the declaration of Martial Law caused negative impact in the tourist arrivals.

But while the tourism sector suffered a setback, Tecson said the primordial concern of the government is the safety of its residents.

“While this move (Martial Law) certainly affects the (tourist) arrivals in the city, our main concern is safety first of all,” Tecson said.

Following the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under Martial Law on May 23, the city government received numerous reports on the cancellation of tourist plans and business transactions in the city.

Mayor Sara Duterete-Carpio said there were flights and hotel bookings, and scheduled large events in the city that were canceled because of safety concerns.

Carpio said the city tourism and regional tourism offices are currently discussing tourism concerns in the city.

Previously, the city mayor said the cancellation of tourist travels and investments in the city were beyond the local government’s control.

“What we have to do is lessen the impact of Martial Law on the tourism and business sectors,” she said.

But Assistant City Administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo said in an interview that the city is 100% business usual, though the city is feeling the effects of Martial Law in its tourism and investment efforts.

As the most populous area in Mindanao, the highly urbanized Davao City has been considered as the capital city of the island. Located in southern part of the Mindanao, Davao is around 250 kilometers away from Marawi City, located in the western part of the island.

President Duterte placed Mindanao under Martial Law following the May 23 clash in Marawi that already claimed 113 persons.