Davao tourism stakeholders eye big spender tourists

Street dancing competition, part of Kadayawan Festival celebration (Photo credit: user GinaD)

Tourism stakeholders in Davao Region are eyeing the European market in the hope of capturing big spender tourists either for business or vacation.

Department of Tourism (DoT) 11 Regional Director Roberto Alabado III said the tourists from this market stay longer in places they explore.

“Usually these tourists stay about 5 days and 4 nights or even more depending on the kind of activities they would like to explore,” he said.

He said most of them would travel outside of their countries during winter or in the months of November and December. He said Europeans love beach holidays and even sports activities and other related events.

“They have the resources and would not hesitate to spend more,” he said.

During the post ATF tours where 19 buyers came to Davao City, Alabado said European tourists spent on South Sea Pearls with a total amount of P200,000. “They were impressed with the pearls that they saw and they bought sets of jewelry pearls,” he said.

Alabado said the tour operators cum buyers like the quality of the jewelry at a cost which is very affordable.

“They are the buyers of tour packages and seeing the products that we have definitely it will form part of the itinerary,” he said.

Among the international tour operators that came to Davao City last month were from Russia, Germany and also from the US, Lebanon, Singapore, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand.

Alabado, however, said the goal to attract long haul tourists may materialize two years from now as there is still a need level up Davao’s current products to meet the expectations of the tourists.

He cited interpreters especially for the Russians.

He said this has to be developed otherwise they will lose the opportunity to have other destinations that could provide interpreters.

He said one tour package would have about 40 persons and the spending of one Russian tourist is equivalent to 100 Chinese tourists.

“There are requirements that Russian tourists want and not minding the cost,” he said.

On the other hand, Alabado said the US-based buyers were looking at institutions and universities because there are packages in the US for students who would travel for exposure trips in Asian countries. This is another aspect that “we could bring them here with Davao City being known as the center for universities and other colleges offering quality education.” (Philippine News Agency)

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