Tourist arrivals breached 1-M in first semester, say

TOURIST arrivals in the city reached about a million as of the first semester, data from the City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) bared.

 Data from CTOO showed that as of June, there were 930,136 tourists in the city, as the agency noted an increase of 3.6% from 896,983 in the same period last year. The highest increase was recorded in January that spiked by 22.66% with 149,064 visitors from 121,528 in the same month last year.

 The city was the venue of different events at the start of the year that attracted visitors like the launch of the country’s hosting of Asean 2017, the visit of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the conduct of Mindanao Tapestry Fashion Show with some candidates of Miss Universe.

 CTOO chief Generose Tecson said yesterday in Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao-Annex that there was, however, a huge drop in the number of tourist arrivals in June as an effect of Martial Law declaration.

 Data from CTOO bared that the number of tourist arrivals declined by 19.21% in June with only 123,343 visitors from 152, 678 in the same month last year.

 Tecson said the Martial Law declaration, which started on May 23, affected the tourism industry. In the first three days of the declaration alone, she said the industry lost P20 million in income, mostly from the cancellation of hotel bookings and events.

 “But it is now starting to pick up,” Tecson said. With the conduct of Kadayawan Festival this month, she said they already noted that 85% out of 10,000 accommodation rooms are filled up specifically on Aug. 17-20.

 The CTOO targeted to sustain having 165,000 tourists in Kadayawan, similar last year.

 Tecson said they also hoped to reach the target of hitting 2 million in tourist arrivals for the entire 2017. “We are encouraging tourists to come and visit Davao in spite of Martial Law. We assure that everything is peaceful here in Davao,” she said.

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