Davao eyed to become a sports hub

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 April) – The local government aims to make the city one of the country’s sports hubs despite the lack of facilities by teaming up with the private sector.

Officials said the Summer Fest on April 29 to May 29 will kick off efforts toward such goal.

“We need not be limited to sports facilities. Instead, we should maximize our natural endowments to host sports activities,” City Tourism Officer Jayson Magnaye, said in a press conference yesterday.

Magnaye said that with Mayor Sara Z. Duterte already acknowledging the need for a quality sports complex, his office has started talks with the private sector and sports association to put up the said infrastructure.

“By doing so, the city won’t have to spend considering that we have minimal resources,” he added.

The upcoming Summer Fest is an addition to major attractions particularly the Araw ng Dabaw and Kadayawan Festival in a bid to make the tourism industry as the city’s leading income generator.

Some P50 million is eyed to promote the events. “We have to work in phases to achieve the whole cost that we need since we don’t have that particular amount just yet,” explained Al Ryan Alejandre , chair of the city council committee on tourism.

In an interview, Gary Cadungog, president of Davao Association of Tour Operators, said that the Summer Fest is also an eye-opener for the local government to look into the income-generating initiatives of private entities that are also players in the tourism industry.

“In this way, our city will be able to put up the infrastructure that we need to boost tourism,” he said.

Hotels, restaurants, malls, and other commercial establishments are coming up with promotions for the events.

Magnaye said the mayor has told his office to come up with a master plan that will define the direction of the local tourism industry. (Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan/MindaNews)