DAVAO CITY – Despite the hiatus brought by the pandemic, the total ticket sales of Davao Oriental’s ecopark and museums reached PHP3.8 million last year, an official said Thursday.

Karen Lou Deloso, the provincial information officer, said income from other sources such as room accommodations, venue rentals and shares from souvenir shops have also reached PHP4.4 million, bringing the total revenue to PHP8.3 million and exceeding its target of PHP1.5 million for the year.

“The arrivals to the province’s premier tourist destinations continue to soar as more visitors are being beguiled by Davao Oriental’s exquisite beauty and charm,” Deloso said.

Data from the Provincial Tourism Office for 2022 indicated that ticket sales in the provincial government-run eco-parks and museum have exceeded the target sales.

Deloso said the historic Cape San Agustin Eco-Park in Governor Generoso town earned the highest sales at PHP1.5 million.

It was followed by the Subangan Museum in Mati City; the Pintatagan Welcome Park in Banaybanay town; Mount Hamiguitan Eco-Park in San Isidro and Pusan Point in Caraga municipality.

“Currently, the Mount Hamiguitan Eco-Park and Pusan Point Eco-Park are closed for rehabilitation and renovation in preparation for the massive tourism relaunch this year,” Deloso said.

Under Governor Corazon Malanyaon’s leadership, Deloso said the provincial government has shifted its focus toward tourism programs to boost the industry as one of the province’s main economic drivers.

Meanwhile, Malanyaon said while the country and the province are reeling from the economic crisis and budget cuts from its share in the national government, the province is now even more compelled to look for possible income sources to support its development programs.

“Given the province’s massive potential in tourism and agriculture, we are exhausting all efforts to explore these competitive advantages,” she said.

The provincial government is also in talks with Philippine Airlines for the possible opening of flights to the area soon to boost tourism, she added. (PNA)