A total of 400,511 domestic and foreign tourists visited South Cotabato in 2020, this despite the global novel Corona Virus (CoViD-19) Pandemic that hit country in the first quarter of last year, the Arts, Culture, Tourism and Museum (ACTM) Development and Promotions Unit reported.
South Cotabato’s 2020 visitors include 400,014 domestic and 497 foreign visitors, with January and February registering the highest arrival at 93,721 and 85,653 visitors, respectively. The cool month of December registered the third highest at 85,421 visitors.
Same Day Tourists (or excursionists) accounted for 333,956 visitors while Guests Nights (or (Overnight Stay) registered 66,556.
ACTM noted that the momentum in tourist arrivals in the first 2 months of 2020 was broken with the arrivals from March to June recorded at almost nil with only 165 visitors, due to the lockdown imposed during the pandemic.
The 4-month hiatus slowly recovered in July when it posted a big jump to 112,681 arrivals,followed by August at 17,139 arrivals while the rest of the succeeding months likewise posted positively with the following tourist arrivals – August (17.392), September (12,206), October (25,694) and November (67,373).
But despite the sluggish arrivals, the tourism sector is bullish that the industry will recover despite stringent health protocols especially implementing only 30 – 50% accommodation capacity per establishment, with the availability now of the CoViD-19 vaccine.