With leaders who have made efforts to make its local and foreign tourists (and residents as well) feel safe to walk its streets and visit its tourist spots, Davao City – the home city of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has steady growing numbers to show for tourist arrivals – whether foreign, local, balikbayan or overseas Filipino workers.
Almost a hundred tourist spots and attractions have made Davao City the prime choice of people seeking out for breathtaking adventure and stress-free vacation.
In terms of land area, Davao is not just the largest city outside Metro Manila or Luzon but the whole world as well with a total land area of 2,444 square kilometers. Based on the 2015 census, its population is 1,632,991 making it the most populous city in Mindanao and the third most populous city in the Philippines.
Significantly, Davao has a tropical rainforest climate with rainfall all-year round. It is home to Mount Apo, the country’s highest mountain; and the Philippine eagle is endemic to the place. Fruits become abundant by September to October – with such luscious produce as durian, marang, rambutan, suha and mangosteen.
Among the popular tourist destinations are the Philippine Eagle Foundation and Nature Center, Malagos Garden Resort, Eden Nature Park, Gap Farming Resort, Mount Apo, Davao Crocodile Park and the People’s Park in the city center.
The people of Davao celebrate two major festivals – Araw Ng Davao (Foundation Day) on March 16 and Kadayawan Festival in August. The entire month of December is a season of festivities as well, with Pasko Fiesta Sa Davao showcasing the residents’ creativity in colorful lightings and array of decorations in barangays, public parks, roads and buildings with a series of competitive performances. On New Year’s Eve, Torotot Festival is held as then Mayor Duterte banned all firecrackers and pyrotechnics to keep everyone safe.
Outdoor activities like wild river rafting, wakeboarding, mountain biking and climbing up the peak of Mount Apo are other options for the adventurous tourists.
Davao City Tourism Operations Office said arrivals increased by 7.8-percent in 2016 to 1,864,343 from 2015’s record of 1,730,009.
Marco Polo Davao General Manager Dottie Wurgler-Cronin accepted the award for and in behalf of Mayor Sara Duterte.