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Davao tourism suffers ‘huge drop’ in revenues due to COVID-19

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 03 May) —  Davao City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson said the local government is anticipating that the erstwhile thriving tourism here would suffer from major revenue losses due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“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 during her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) 87.5 on Saturday.

She said her office has yet to quantify the estimated losses suffered so far by the tourism industry players due to COVID-19, which halted the operations of most business establishments worldwide.

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Downtown Davao City in the time of COVID-19 lockdown. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

Local tourism has been seeing promising arrivals over the past few years, attracting several international and domestic airlines to open new direct routes.

The city posted 2.57 million tourist arrivals last year, an increase of 7.55 percent from 2.39 million in  2018, according to the data released by the tourism office.

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She said the city government is meeting with tourism leaders to draft a post-COVID-19 recovery plan.

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“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.

The Cathay Dragon’s Davao-Hong Kong-Davao and XiamenAir’s Davao-Quanzhou-Davao flights were suspended last February while the four international flights such as Cebu Pacific’s Davao-Singapore-Davao, Garuda Indonesia’s Davao-Manado-Davao, Qatar Airways’ Davao-Qatar-Davao, and SilkAir’s Davao-Singapore-Davao were suspended in mid-March. The last inbound and outbound flight out was Silkair’s on March 18. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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