DAVAO CITY, Philippines- Despite the estimated P20 million revenue loss in tourism, the City Tourism Office is still positive that the industry’s income will eecover amid the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao, an official said, June 1.
City Tourism Operations Officer, Generose Tecson said in a press conference held at the City Hall, that the hotel sector lost the most, at P18 million, mostly on room and events cancellation. Tecson also confirmed that there were a number of flight cancellations and the number of arrivals has dropped.
“They (hotel sector) are still optimistic and are still hoping that it will translate later on into rebookings. Several said that they’ll rebook at the later date, that’s why we’re optimistic also,” Tecson said.
Tecson recalled the bombing incident last September that also caused tourists to cancel trips here in the city. She said that since Davao have gained high level of trust from people, the loss have translated into rebookings.
“In fact if we based it last year, an incident happened in September, yet immediately on October to November, the number of tourists increased that we don’t even know where to hold conferences,” she said.
Tecson said that they are hoping that the same translates for them especially that Kadayawan festival is also approaching.
“It’s a reaction to the declaration. The tourism industry works on perception. Once you have news like that, people may really have second thoughts,” she said.
Tecson called out to Dabawenyos to help the tourism industry in the city by spreading positive news about Davao. “In the declaration of Martial Law, the reaction was because of the stigma of the Martial Law before and they don’t look at the actual situation right here in Mindanao. We have to show that Martial Law is different right now especially here in Davao,” she said.
Tecson said that it’s “not all negative news” since many are still showing support and a number of local and foreign tourists have confirmed to push through with their trip here.
“It’s not all negative news. Many are still calling the office showing their support. This mid-June there’s a group coming about 70 people from the San Juan City LGU and about 200 foreigners coming here,” Tecson said.
Tecson said that they hope that within three to four weeks, the situation will go back to normal and the stigma will level off.
Unlike the big revenue loss of the tourism industry, Lemuel Ortonio, Chief of the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC), claimed that the declaration might have just created a “slight impact” in terms of investments in the city.