Tourist arrivals spike this year – Alabado

AS THE CITY is celebrating the 30th Kadayawan Festival, the Department of Tourism (DOT) projected an increase in tourist arrivals by 10% this month.

DOT XI expected that the arrivals will spike from August last year’s record at 152,747 tourists. Of the figure, majority were local tourists that totaled 141,719 while there were only 10,424 foreign visitors who arrived in time for the month-long festivity.

Tourism regional director Roberto P. Alabado III told the reporters yesterday at the sidelines of the conduct of Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan that hotels are fully-booked.

Alabado said the representatives from the hotels told him that there were international visitors from Japan, Taiwan, China and others. The contingents of different activities like Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan and the conduct of different meetings, conventions and conferences also contribute to the increasing number of tourists.

“There were even some hotels that declined incoming guests as they were already fully-booked,” he said, adding that this is a “very good indicator” as it means that there are a lot of tourists.

If by bus, Alejandro J. Alilin, manager of Davao City Overland Transport Terminal, told the TIMES they expected an increase on the number of passengers this weekend, when the major events such as Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan and Pamulak Kadayawan are conducted, from about 25,000 to 35,000 passengers.

“There will be visitors too that would just travel here and go back in their provinces within the day,” Alilin said.

The Kadayawan Festival, the CTOO said, “is an annual celebration in the city of Davao during the third week of August. It is a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living.”

“It also focuses on the multicolored mix of Davao and Mindanao’s indigenous communities as well as migrant settlers, whose identities make up the rich cultural heritage of this island,” CTOO said, as this highlights the tribes based in the city such as Sama, Bagobo-Klata, Bagobo-Tagabawa, Matigsalog, Ata, Iranun, Maguindanaon, Tausug, Maranao, Kagan and Ovu Manubo.

During the opening ceremony of Kadayawan Festival Thursday at San Pedro Square, Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte hoped that this year’s festivity will be successful and attract “a lot of visitors” as they are offering different activities.

Tourists can opt from shopping at various trade fairs, eating Durian, witnessing the street dance competition Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan, having a selfie with the winner of this year’s Hiyas ng Kadayawan, being mesmerized at the huge floral floats, partying at Kadayawan Street Party to listening at various artists in Hudyakaan sa Kadayawan.

Visitors can also check on the new attractions like the city’s festive photo booth installed along Rizal Park, airport or in front of City Hall. They may even see how the mayor jive the “Twerk it Like Miley” dance.

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