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Hotel managers urge DOT to promote local tourism

Due to the decline of revenue in the hospitality industry following a series of calamities, hotel managers in the city have urged the Department of Tourism (DOT) to promote local tourism to get them back on their feet.

Hotel managers concluded during their meeting last Wednesday that the industry should stop depending on international tourism.

Benjamen Banzon Jr., the general manager of Royal Mandaya Hotel, said in yesterday’s Kapihan sa PIA that they are trying their best to convince DOT to help them in promoting local tourism.

“We really encourage the DOT to promote local tourism. For now, let’s not depend on international tourism due to the series of travel bans that affect the industry,” Banzon said in vernacular during the Kapihan held at Royal Mandaya.

The region has been suffering a decline of visitors due to the series of earthquakes last year, the travel ban caused by COVID-19, and the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

Banzon said that the number one source of international tourism revenue is from China. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, he said “a large chunk” was taken away from the local tourism revenue.

The cancellations due to the travel bans have directly affected the hospitality industry, Banzon said.

One of those is the cancellation of the arrival of Taiwanese business executives from a big corporation, he revealed.

From 78%, the number of occupancies dropped to 49%, losing about half of their revenue as of January 2020. Normally since 2016, they have an average of 70-90% occupancy rate.

When asked about what kind of help from the DOT they want, Banzon said they need proper information dissemination where people would be informed that it is safe to travel, they should not panic, and they should not let the outbreak hold them from enjoying themselves.

He also added that if people would be made aware that it is safe to travel and hotels are preparing themselves in case of emergency so they are in good hands, this could encourage them to travel.

Moreover, they are planning on having a megasale where hotel prices would be sold at a cheaper price with hopes that this would encourage patrons.

“As a local hotel in Davao, we really are trying our best. We are very optimistic,” Banzon said, “that in due time, if we’ll help each other, we can get through this.”

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