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Editorial | Tourism arrivals

Many travelers, especially those who want to get the most of their experience, now choose homesharing apps that give them a wide variety of places to stay that suits their budget and lifestyle. In many cases, they also prefer to check listings of accommodations close to sites they want to visit. The host and the guests have a more personalized interaction which helps to make the short stay pleasurable and stress-free.

This has become so prevalent that the city is now urging these homestay apps to get the necessary permits and licenses.

Last July, the city tourism office said that although there was a remarkable increase in tourist arrivals, the figures do not really represent the actual number as those that register in home sharing listings do not register their guests with the tourism office.

In 2018, Councilor Ryan Alejandre, proponent of the code, said there were 400 listed on AirBnB alone and identified other applications such as VRBO (vacation rental by owner), Tripping.com, Flipkey, and Homestay. Jake Wilczynski, Airbnb public affairs officer in the Asia Pacific, last year promised the City Tourism Office that it was willing to work with the agency to “address any challenges it may have” in the implementation of regulations for home-sharing listings.

The code states that these homes, categorized in the code as “self-styled accommodation establishments,” would be required to apply for business permits as well as submit occupancy reports. City tourism officer Gene Rose Tecson said recently that they are receiving some opposition from the owners of the homes but the code should be implemented to ensure the safety and well-being of visitors and monitor actual tourist arrivals in the city.

Davao City is generating a lot of interest as a destination, not only because of what we have to offer, but because our President, the first one coming from Mindanao, lives here. We will be expecting more to be coming and we have to prepare for that. The ball now is in the court of the city tourism office.

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