Investment in Tourism Continues to Grow in Davao Despite Martial Law

Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, Davao

Davao city, the main metropolis in the Mindanao Islands in Southern Philippines continues to see more tourists and more investments related to tourism. This happens despite the fact that the city has been under martial law since May 2017.

A miracle is occurring in Davao and this miracle carries a name: Rodrigo Duterte. The current President of the Philippines used to be the mayor of Davao and was previously a lawyer in the same city. Since Duterte election, Davao has been favoured by the government. Until late spring, Philippines State Secretary for Tourism was from Davao and a close friend to the current President. And the current mayor of Davao is  Sara Z. Duterte. Not surprising to learn that she is the daughter of Rodrigo Duterte.

No wonder then that despite the declaration of martial law on May 23 2017 following terrorist acts and violence in the Mindanao, Davao continues to attract both travellers and tourism investments, particularly in real estate.

Ruth Coyoca, Philippines senior assistant manager of the real estate company Prime, recently told members of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry that Davao City continues to be an investment destination in the country and is particularly successful in tourism.

The City Information Office said earlier this year that Davao City Tourism Operations Office showed a total of 2,009,879 tourists in the city between January to December last year, representing a growth of 25% over 2016. Most of the tourists were domestic travellers while international arrivals stood last year at 126,500, a very modest growth of 1.5%.

According to Coyoca, tourist arrivals in Davao City jumped again by 13.36 percent from January to July while more hotels and condominiums are being constructed all across town.

By 2020, Davao City could reach the 6,000 hotel room mark which is “a far cry from 2017’s of just over 4,000 rooms,” she explained to local newspapers.

Ruth Coyoca added that the “residential sector maintains about 80 percent occupancy rates and at competitive prices, the sector is performing really well due to local investor purchasing and the positive outlook of Mindanaoans.”

“Since the declaration of martial, the residential condominiums remain stable. The sector is experiencing relatively high occupancy rate up to 83 per cent,” she added.

According to Coyoca, nine more big condominiums will rise in the next three years and most of the units are sold to local investors in Mindanao which she said “implies no significant effect in relation to the extension of martial law in Mindanao.”

“Year by year commercial land in Davao City experiences a growth of 20 percent which indicate the rapid escalation of Davao as a premium business district of the Philippines.”

“Infrastructure development, high level of commerce, real estate development, local investor’s confidence, and government stability are most notable factors contributing to the increase of the land values in Davao City,” she pointed out.