By Maya M. Padillo
Some 10,000 visitors may descend upon Mati this summer, and with rooms available for only 500 people, the tourism department’s regional office here is mulling ways to address the influx. But the efforts may be a classic case of having too little too late.
Mati’s social preparedness will be put to test with the expected arrival of thousands of spectators, players, influencers, and other personalities. They will be there for tourism events like Frisbee Challenge, National Skim-boarding Competition, Volleyball Competition, and Summer Frolic.
Now on its 4th year, Visit Davao Fun Sale (VDFS), the biggest tourism event in Davao Region is celebrating this summer campaign with focus geared towards the region’s eco-tourism destinations with events happening in Mati, Davao Oriental.
Hotels in Mati are already fully-booked.
Department of Tourism-11 (DOT-11) director Roberto Alabado III said opening camping sites for the younger crowd may be adequate.
“We know that medyo limited pa and accommodation, lalo na yung accredited by the DOT. However, we know that it is next month na, so ano ang gagawin? We will be coordinating with the city. Ang idea nga namin kanina is Summer Dahican that is equal to beach camping. But a lot of people right now would prefer camping sites and maybe we can request our partners in the mountaineering clubs makapahiram ug gears and tents so that even they can benefit from the tourists,” he said.
He added that his office is encouraging establishments in Mati to upgrade their facility standards to become DOT-accredited.
Local Government of Mati administrative officer Dashiel Indelible told media that the city has rooms to comfortably house only 500 persons. To help broaden accommodation, the city is preparing homestays and campsites for the athletes and visitors during that time.
“Those 500 are comfortable rooms wala na yung mga lodging houses, dormitories because what we are promoting is the accredited accommodation facilities of the DOT. Beyond that there are small lodges and inns and dormitories. There are also private resorts that will be opened to accommodate visitors,” Indelible said.
He also said they have prepared three private resorts for the Visit Davao Fun Sale (VDFS) visitors.
“We anticipated during that time wala silang matulugan. Ang day tours that we are expecting I think is half of that number (10,000). Usually nagapunta at nag uuwian lang yan. But during night we expect more of that half because of the Summer Frolic event,” he said.