Davao City to continue hosting national events

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 January) — Davao City will remain a premiere destination for the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Events or Exhibitions (MICE), an official of the Department of Tourism Region 11 said.

In a text message on Tuesday, DOT 11 director Roberto Alabado III said the city had played host to several major national events in 2014, which placed the city in the event organizers’ radar.

“This continued exposure will continue well into 2016 as the Davao Mice Consortium, composed of the private sector, local government unit, DOT will actively promote Davao as the preferred MICE destination,” he said.

He added they are looking at the major Philippines cities and Singapore to hold events in the city.

On Dec. 17 last year, budget airline Cebu Pacific started servicing the Davao-Singapore route with two flights per week.

Alabado was looking at an increase in the number of Singaporean tourists after the inauguration as the tour operators have come up with tour packages, bannering the region’s fresh destinations.

From January to September 2015, the region recorded 1,874,587 tourists, up by 4.10 percent compared to 1,800,726 tourists for the same period in 2014.

The city’s MICE market has been booming since the opening of SMX Convention Center in 2012 and hotels.

The latest addition will be the eight-storey Go Hotels Davao, which is set to open next month, bringing the total rooms of the city’s accommodation facilities to around 8,000.

This was announced by Ivan Chin Cortez, Davao City Investment Promotion Center officer-in-charge during Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City on Monday, who said the latest hotel has 183 rooms.

“The project aims to provide ‘a place for every Juan’. The board unanimously approved the project for local incentives owing to the growing need for more accommodation options in the city,” he said in a separate statement.

Go Hotels Davao, located in Lanang, is a joint project of Robinsons Land and Davao-based Udenna Development Corp., the holding company of Phoenix Petroleum.

The budget hotel accounted for the biggest investment in the city last year with P576 million project cost infused as of Nov. 18, 2015.

Robinsons Land has 10 Go Hotels across the country.

Robinson’s projects included Cybergate Davao, Delta Residences, and Robinson’s Place in Tagum City.

This was followed by the Davao City Water District P536-million investment for the construction of its seven-storey new office buildings.

Coming in third highest was Filinvest Land Inc.’s five-storey condominium building worth P116.782 million at the One Oasis Davao along Ecowest Drive, Ecoland, followed by hotel operator Glenn Escandor’s Esdevco Realty Corporation with P106.311 million for its eight-storey condominium project within Matina Enclaves.

The state-run University of Southeastern Philippines poured P71 million for the construction of a five-storey school building at its Obrero campus.

Citing Board of Investments records, Department of Trade and Industry Region 11 director Maria Belinda Ambi said total property investments in 2015 reached P1.4 billion.

These investments were mostly in Davao City and covered subdivisions, high-rise condominium units, and buildings for information and communications technology companies.

The city has 22 residential condominium developments in the pipeline which combined for 5,600 units, according to Jone Lang LaSalle Philippines Inc. (JLL).

JLL is a financial and professional services firm specializing in commercial real estate services and investment management. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)