The Department of Tourism in Region 11 (DOT-11) is looking forward to 2018 with more tourist arrivals and higher tourist receipts.
This, as 2017 performance indicates a positive trend in tourist arrivals, said DOT-11 chief operations officer Zuhairah Abas.
Abas said that with the 2017 performance, DOT is optimistic that growth would continue in 2018.
Abas reported that tourist arrivals from January to September 2017 increased despite the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
The arrivals of foreign travelers hit 113,305 for the first nine months of 2017 compared to 96,902 for the same period last year.
In the same period, the arrival of overseas Filipinos accounted for 31,482 compared to 17,573 in 2016.
Domestic travelers only recorded 1,918,355 in 2017 compared to 2,046,627 in 2016, Abas said, as travelers from affected areas related to the Marawi incident were not able to travel.
With these figures, Abas said the total volume in 2017 for the first nine months was pegged at 2,063,142 visitors for domestic, foreign, and overseas Filipinos compared to 2,161,102 in 2016.
She, however, remains bullish the performance will still improve at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Abas said DoT has lined up activities that would open Davao’s destinations for foreign markets.
She said by January 2018, the tourism sector here would join an international and a domestic travel expositions.
She said DoT is coordinating for a big delegation that would join the Malaysia Travel Fair from January 19 to 21 organized by the Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) with 650 booths and some 75,000 visitors expected.
“We want to be part of this travel fair because many travelers check the different offerings showcased in this exposition,” she said.
She said a team would join the largest Travel Fair in Cebu slated on January 27 to 29 to promote Davao destinations in the Visayas market and international travelers because Cebu already has several international flights.
Abas said that while DOT’s goal is to make Davao’s presence known to other international markets by highlighting selected places like the Camp Manuel in Tuburan, Mawab, Compostela Valley province where visitors can witness field exhibitions and drills of the men in uniform.
“Kakaiba kasi ito sa mga foreigners (this is different for foreigners),” she said.
She also cited the surfing site of Mati City and the rich natural resources of Davao Occidental.(PNA)