Tourist arrivals seen to hit 9 million next year: official

THE YEAR 2017 is seen to be a busy time for the tourism industry, especially in the city, with the staging of various major events including the awaited visit of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“It will be a very busy year,” said Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo on Wednesday during the year-end gathering at Marco Polo Davao Hotel. The department is projecting nine million in tourist arrivals next year throughout the country.

Tourist arrivals this year is expected to reach six million.

Roberto Alabado III, regional director of Department of Tourism XI, said the first month of 2017 would already be busy for the city as it would host the launching of the golden anniversary celebration of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Jan. 15.

The launching will be attended by key officials from the member countries of ASEAN.

Alabado said the city was also chosen as among the side venues for Miss Universe. About 30-40 candidates of Miss Universe are expected to come in the city for the Mindanao Tapestry Fashion Show on Jan. 19 at SMX Davao Convention Center.

Apart from these huge events, he shared that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is also expected to visit the city as a result of the invitation extended by President Rodrigo R. Duterte when he visited Japan last Oct.

In a report of Vera Files, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. confirmed that Prime Minister Abe has indicated to visit in the country on Jan. 12-13. “What would be significant about his visit would be that he would like to go to Davao,” he said.

“Japan might want to look at how they can contribute in building a rehabilitation center in the country. So he will be visiting Davao. He will be coming to Manila. We will have activities here for him and we will also have activities for him in Davao,” Yasay said.

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