Davao City is rich with history and has become a melting pot of various cultures, customs, and religions. Through the years, Davao has been recognized for exporting major products such as bananas, pineapples, copra, desiccated coconut, abaca, and other fruits and top exports. In addition, the city is gaining traction as an attractive business and investment hub in Mindanao for agribusiness, tourism and recreation, green projects and environment protection, and information and communications technology, among others. The unique fusion of these elements makes Davao City a major destination not just in the Philippines. It has a high development potential to be a gateway to the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
This January, a two-day workshop was held by the City Government of Davao in collaboration with Palafox Associates for the city’s 25-year tourism master plan. The activities were led by Ar. Felino “Jun” Palafox, Jr., Dr. Maricel Badilla — tourism marketing specialist of Palafox, and Ms. Generose Tecson — officer-in-charge of the Davao City Tourism Operations Office. Participants who joined the workshop were representatives from the Davao City Tourism Operations Office, tourist-related company owners, tourism councils, barangay authorities, locals, and members of the academic community. The objectives of the workshop were to: 1) learn how the local community perceives Davao City; 2) confirm the unique selling propositions of existing tourism attractions and products from the locals' perspective; and 3) gather insights from local stakeholders regarding their attitudes toward tourism development and the types of products that could be developed in Davao City.
A second workshop with the tourist market, which will be composed of Generation X, Millennials, and Zennials, will be held in February by Palafox Associates and the City Government of Davao.