By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – Tourism stakeholders in this city are drafting a recovery plan to help the industry recover from the adverse effects caused by the suspension of air, land, and sea travel to control the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson said.
Tecson said they have yet to quantify the estimated value of tourism losses incurred by the city due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but local tourism players were anticipating that it would be huge, dampening the growth of the thriving tourism industry here.
“But I will really say that it’s going to be a huge drop. It’s worldwide. That’s what’s happening right now,” Tecson said.
The local tourism has been seeing promising tourism arrivals over the past few years, attracting several international and domestic airlines to open new direct routes.
The city posted 2,573,990 tourist arrivals last year, an increase of 7.55 percent from 2,393,384 in 2018, according to the data released by the tourism office.
She said the city government was already meeting with tourism leaders to draft a post-COVID-19 recovery plan for the city.
“We are discussing the things that we should do in the future,” she said.
Mayor Sara Duterte, concurrent chair of Davao Region COVID-19 Task Force, banned land, sea, and air travels last March 19, resulting in the suspension of 21 domestic flights and four international flights.
Cathay Dragon’s Davao-Hong Kong-Davao, and XiamenAir’s Davao-Quanzhou-Davao flights were suspended last February, while four international flights, namely, Cebu Pacific’s Davao-Singapore-Davao, Garuda Indonesia’s Davao-Manado-Davao, Qatar Airways’ Davao-Qatar-Davao, and SilkAir’s Davao-Singapore-Davao were halted in March.