Mindanao Times

Exempting city from ML favors tourism in Davao

- A. Suarez By Julianne

EXEMPTING the city from martial law promises positive effects to the city’s tourism, an official said.

“That (exception from martial law) would be very good because there are countries like Japan that hesitate to send tourists here because of martial law,” City Tourism Officer Regina Rose Tecson said.

Speaking at the sidelines of yesterday’s flag ceremony at the City Hall grounds, Tecson said Japan expressed its interest to invite more of their nationals to come in here once the declaratio­n is lifted.

“We had the opportunit­y to talk to Japanese tourism associatio­ns and they said that one factor of the hindrance of coming over to Mindanao, even here in Davao, is martial law,” she added.

“We are certainly hoping so that it will turn out that way especially that we have potential markets. The Japanese and Europeans are willing to come over,” she said.

“Another thing is, Europeans and Americans need travel insurance when they go to other countries, and they cannot get one if they go to a country that’s

under martial law,” Tecson added.

As of May this year, Tecson said they already hit one-third of its target tourist arrivals, domestic and foreign combined.

“We’ve already hit one million which is very, very good for us but we are hoping that the trend will continue to be able to hit the target of 3 million this year. But then again, our problem is still how to get data from self-styled accommodat­ion,” Tecson said.

The top four foreign tourists in the city are Americans, Chinese, Koreans and Japanese, she said.

On the issue of the Airbnb-type accommodat­ions, Tecson said they are still looking for ways to legitimize and gather data from the said businesses.

“We found out that 80% of those who buy condominiu­m units are investing to self-styled accommodat­ion so we are hoping to look for a way to make these businesses legit,” Tecson said.

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