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DAVAO CITY — The local economy will continue to grow this year with the service industry and tourism as its main drivers, according to Arturo Milan, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII).

Milan described this city’s economic prospects for 2019 as “very positive” and noted that 2018 had been a very strong year for Davao but the best is yet to come. “I would say the service sector will still be the growth driver because of the property boom that we are having right now,” he said.

Milan also sees the tourism sector as another engine of growth because of the increasing attractiveness of the city to both domestic and foreign tourists. He said tourism has been boosted with the opening of new direct international flights as well as the increase of frequencies of domestic trips here.

Last year, the City Government reported that tourist arrivals hit the two million mark from January to December 2017, or a 7.95 percent increase from 1.86 million in 2016. From January to June 2018, arrivals totaled 1.167 million.

However, the DCCCII president said Davao City must confront the challenge of integrating further its tourism plan “so that we can really sustain all these flights that are happening here”. “We need to develop our tourist spots so we could attract people and sustain air connectivity that we try to develop,” he said.

The latest international direct route to be added late last year is the Quanzhou (Jinjang, China)-Davao flight and Milan said the government should continue to push the Davao-Japan air connection and revive the Davao-Manado (Indonesia) and the Davao-Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) routes as well, including European destinations via Qatar-Cebu flights. (Digna Banzon)


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