Davao City

Davao City to host major gathering of tourism players this March

Ferdinand Zuasola
Davao City to host major gathering of tourism players this March

TOURISM MEET. Tourism Promotions Board chief operating officer Maria Margarita Nograles (second from right) announces that Davao City's will host the Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, Exhibitions Conference this March while other officials look on.

Department of Tourism-Davao Region

Officials say out-of-town business meetings are 'low-hanging fruits' for local tourism players on their road to recovery

DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines – Davao City will host the country’s biggest face-to-face and online gathering of tourism players in the country this year in March, making local officials and local tourism stakeholders more bullish about the local industry that has taken a beating more than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Davao officials on Friday, January 6, said they were expecting at least 1,500 tourism players throughout the country to join the Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, Exhibitions Conference (MICECON) on March 1 to 3.

During the January 5 signing of a memorandum of agreement for collaboration between the local government and the tourism department, Davao City Vice Mayor Jay Melchor Quitain Jr. said the March gathering “will help revitalize the city’s tourism sector and open more doors for business opportunities that will boost the whole region’s economic growth.” 

Davao first hosted the MICECON a decade ago, and local officials said they see the March gathering as a significant one as it would reaffirm the Southern Mindanao city’s capacity to hold national and international events given its infrastructure and tourism attractions. 

Tourism Promotions Board chief operating officer Maria Margarita Nograles said, “We strongly believe and claim that Davao’s hosting of MICECON will provide a tremendous boost to the city’s tourism industry and a huge step towards its own vision of making Davao a preferred MICE destination not only in the Philippines but in the whole of Asia.” 

Nograles said out-of-town business meetings in the country should be seen by tourism industry players as “low-hanging fruits on our road to recovery,” pointing out there was a growing demand for more “bleisure,” which is a combination of business and leisure options.

She added, “With cities like Davao, which business districts are just minutes away from beaches, attractions, and entertainment facilities, we have a great opportunity to bring bigger groups of tourists to our shores.”

Department of Tourism (DOT) regional director Tanya Rabat-Tan said the city and the Davao Region have already solidified their status as premier tourism destinations in Mindanao and the country.

Rabat said Davao Region’s tourism players need to continue showcasing eco-tourism sites and show “how we are able to marry both tourism and conservation without compromising one from the other.”

She cited the recently-held three-day Mount Apo Sky and Vertical Race that drew in trail runners from 18 countries who braved the challenging trails of the country’s highest peak.

The participants gathered in the village of Darong, Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur, in December 2022, to run through rainforests, mountain boulders, open trails, dirt roads as well as rivers and creeks.

The event was the finale of the Asia Trail Master, the championship leg of the world-class race series. It was also the first time that an Asian Trail Master championship was hosted by the Philippines through the Mount Apo Sky and Vertical Race.

“Mount Apo has always been an icon for biodiversity and environmental preservation, not just in Davao Region but in the entire country,” Rabat said. – Rappler.com

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