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After “Odette,” Siargao town sees a significant increase in tourism.

The town of Dapa on Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte has started a significant tourism and sporting event more than six months after Typhoon Odette’s devastation.

On Saturday morning, the “First Dapa Siargao National Dragon Boat Regatta 2022” kicked off its first round of competitions.

Mayor Elizabeth Matugas made her introductory remarks during the presentation of teams and stated that “this is the first major event in Siargao Island since we were struck by Typhoon Odette in December last year.”

There are 21 dragon boat teams competing countrywide, including ones from the army and navy of the Philippines. They will compete for cash prizes totaling PHP475,000.

Tourist arrivals in Siargao decreased to 67,717 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and the application of health standards in 2020, according to data from the Department of Tourism-13 (Caraga) (49,681 domestic and 18,036 foreign).

In April, May, and October 2020, there were no domestic or foreign arrivals noted on the island.

In 2021, it further decreased to 55,840. (28,287 domestic and 27,553 foreign).

There were 257,900 arrivals in 2019. (183,042 domestic and 74,858 foreign).

This year’s January through March saw 1,108 arrivals (953 domestic and 155 foreign), and April and May saw an increase to 8,141. (7,292 domestic and 849 foreign).

Next year, Matugas promised, “We will do our utmost to improve the level of competition to a worldwide level.”

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