By LILIAN C. MELLEJOR
DAVAO CITY — Tourism stakeholders in Davao region geared for early sales promotion of Visit Davao Fun Sale (VDFS) 2016 to draw more participation and tourists with last year’s positive results in tourist arrivals.
An early campaign is also an answer to the clamor from tourism players and visitors that participated in the VDFS exit survey to give them time to plan ahead for the next holiday.
During the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City, Department of Tourism (DoT) chief of operations Eden David noted the positive gains in terms of tourist arrivals during the VDFS period last year.
David said there was an increase of 38 percent in hotel occupancy, indicating a big leap from previous VDFS.
She said tourism receipts was estimated at P1.6 billion computed based n Po4,000 per day expenses for three days that included expenses on tickets, hotels, food and airline tickets.
In the VDFS exit report, DOT said that in April 2015, the guest arrivals totaled to 145,607 with an average hotel occupancy rate of 55.26 percent based on 171 licensed accommodations that submitted their hotel occupancy report.
Last year for the same period, guest arrivals totaled to 63,976 or an average occupancy rate of 51.22 percent. The data was based on 60 licenses accommodation establishments that submitted their hotel occupancy report.
In May 2015, the guest arrivals reached 152,395 with an average occupancy rate of 62.8 percent based on 188 licensed accommodation establishments that submitted hotel occupancy report.
For the same month last year, arrivals reached 145,607, with the average occupancy rate of 52.26 percent based from 171 licensed accommodation establishments that submitted hotel occupancy report.
Benjie Lizada, VDFS executive committee chair, said they had to go for early campaign to draw more participation from other players like restaurants, tour agents, wellness centers, hotels in Davao region.
Lizada said he saw the need for them to contribute to the general sale in Davao.
Davao Tour Consortium Edmund Mayormita also noted increased bookings for tour packages and they intend to expand this year by coming with more tour tours to help sell Davao.
Mayormita said the cost of tour packages during the VDFS last year was really cut by almost 50 percent
Fides Castañeda, VDFS vice executive committee chair, said they would also be inviting more spa owners to participate the event. In fact, Castañeda, who is a spa operator, said they were also working to have Davao massage oil as part of a campaign to make Davao a wellness destination.
David also hinted to strengthen promo of Davao’s island to highlands campaign.
According to David, respondents in the VDFS exit survey showed both island/beach destinations and country-side attractions topped the most common answers with Samal Island most liked attraction visited.
The VDFS exit survey, the top 10 most common attractions visited were Samal Island.
Of the 301 respondents, or 23 percent, visited Samal Island; 195 respondents, or 15 percent, visited the malls; Eden Nature Park with 174 respondents, or 13 percent; Peoples Park with 151 respondents, or 11 percent; Crocodile Park with 108 respondents, or 8 percent; Philippine Eagle with 69 respondents, or 5 percent; Pearl Farm with 52 respondents, or four percent followed by Paradise Island, Malagos Garden and Blue Jazz.
In view of the survey result, Generose Tecson, chair of the Samal Island Tourism Council, said they were working hard to promote tours.
She said they were experimenting on Samal Island as a relaxation and adventure destination.
The private sector in Samal Island is also getting help from the local government. Davao del Norte provincial tourism officer Noel Daquiaog said they were pushing for a revisit of Samal Island campaign.