DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 April) – Davao City’s massive sale event returns this year and promises tourists and visitors fun that goes beyond shopping.
After last year’s Big Davao Fun Sale (a month-long sale and was dubbed as the first city-wide shopping sale in the country) last March 2014, the event returns as Visit Davao Fun Sale (VDFS) 2015.
This tourism campaign, which goes hand-in-hand with the Visit Philippines Year 2015, is designed to cover all sectors of tourism in the city—from tours and accommodation, to dining, shopping, and adventure.
Instead of holding the event for a month like last year, VDFS stretches the fun to a six-week period that includes seven weekends, promoting the city as a travel and tours destination this summer. VDFS started last April 3 and will last until May 17.
VDFS is set to tap into the city’s key tourism players like travel and tour agencies, hotels and resorts, restaurant and entertainment groups, malls and shopping centers, and organizations like the MICE organizers ventures Davao and the Davao Wellness Association.
Shopping, tours and more
During the Club 888 press conference early last month, Department of Tourism Davao Region director Roberto Alabado III said that tour operators in the city will be running what they call Fun Tours and Fun Packages that offer discounted city and adventure tours and discounted packages on accommodation facilities. These will be available through the VDFS website. He said that there will be a total of 750 rooms available per weekend through this package.
Nine major malls in the city will also take part in giving away generous discounts and promos throughout the event. These include Abreeza, Gmall (in Bajada and Toril), Gaisano Grand (Ilustre and Toril), NCCC Mall, S&R, Robinsons (Abreeza), SM City Davao and SM Lanang Premier, and Victorial Plaza Mall.
The dining component of VDFS will also be another highlight of the event with the Restaurant Owners Association of Davao leading the way. At least 100 restaurants in the city will be offering promos with as much as 20 percent discount throughout VDFS.
Alabado said that in order to enjoy the discounts, visitors and locals alike should present their VDFS passports; these are given for free in airports, partner hotels, and designated booth in malls.
There will also be a dedicated Android app for the whole event.
Alabado said that the way they synchronized all these activities for the VDFS this year makes good selling points for Davao as a destination for summer—especially for those who are looking for new places to visit.
He said that the local government units, the DOT, and private organizations are closely working for the event and the city to make a significant contribution to the country’s targeted 10-million visitor traffic for 2016.
Alabado said that they’re hoping to develop VDFS further in the coming years and do a greater coverage for the event and include tourism destinations in the whole region—not just the city.
“This is not a one-time deal,” he said, referring to VDFS. “We want to sustain the interest of visitors to come to Davao.”
While there is no target revenue yet, Alabado said that DOT is already devising mechanisms to evaluate the end-result of the event and the number of foreign arrivals based on exit interviews and hotel occupancy. The process also includes putting together data and making calculations from the VDFS partners, packages, and industry players.