THE Davao Region is banking on intra-regional and inter-regional travel and enhancement of its tourism products to stimulate the recovery of its tourism industry.
In a webinar organized by the Davao Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. on Wednesday, Department of Tourism (DoT)-Region 11 (Davao Region) Director Tanya Rabat Tan said domestic travel will be the driver of the recovery.
She noted that domestic travel has restarted for the region as they recorded 249,229 arrivals during the first three months of the year.
Tan said most of the arrivals are from regional markets, citing that 60 percent of Davao del Sur‘s arrivals are from Region 12 (Soccsksargen or South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos).
Tan also said that a survey they conducted among accredited tourism establishments in the Davao Region showed that around 80 percent are already operational, unlike last year when most temporarily closed down due to the quarantine restrictions.
“We’re better off this year because we also see a number of arrivals that is higher compared to last year,” she continued.
Meanwhile, Tan said Davao will focus on intra-regional and inter-regional travel, enhancing existing and developing new tourism products, and increasing travelers’ confidence to visit the region.
One of the Tourism department‘s short-term plans, according to Tan, is to develop the tourism circuits identified in their regional tourism development plan.
DoT-Region 11 targets to launch all these circuits this year.
“Our team has been conducting validations and consultations with the provinces and local government units (LGUs) and we will continue on to cover the whole region,” Tan said.
Validation is done to assess existing products identified in the circuits included in the region’s tourism development plan.
Tan said the department has so far validated two of the five provinces for target: Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental.
The validation highlighted the five major tourism offerings of Davao Del Sur: culture, eco-adventures, agri-tourism, and culinary and highland leisure.
Meanwhile, Davao Oriental, which is divided into two areas, has dive, highland adventures, culture and heritage, and waterfalls as major tourism draws.
“To enable travel, there is a need to relax the border control but to be able to ease border control, there should be a decrease and controlled Covid (coronavirus disease 2019) virus transmission and low active cases of Covid in the different LGU areas,” Tan said.
“The measures imposed by LGUs and the Department of Tourism and other national government agencies, complemented by the private sector, through innovative measures utilizing available technology, will ensure gradual but safe, reopening of the tourism industry,” Tan continued.
by: Faye Almazan