Davao City’s business and tourism sectors urged stakeholders to disseminate information ahead of changes in the city’s calendared events to avoid inconvenience.
This came amidst mixed reactions from tourists and Davaoenos during the recently concluded Kadayawan sa Davao. The festivity was stretched throughout the entire month of August such as this year’s Pamulak, Indak-Indak, and other highlights were held on separate weekends.
While organizers thought it is good for tourism, it did not turn out so for some visitors. The spread-out schedules messed up their plans of stay.
“The only thing we need to improve probably the next time around is the communication part especially for those coming from abroad. I have to go to Marco Polo speak to Davaoenos who are now based in the US because they called me bakit ganon ang nangyari because they booked already and expected that Indak Indak and Pamulak will be of the same weekend. That is the thing we need to improve our communication probably,” said Arturo Milan, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII), which also co-chaired this year’s Kadayawan sa Davao.
Davao Tourism Association (DATA) President Gatchi Gatchalian, for his part, told media what happened in Kadayawan this year was a major paradigm shift.
“Those who were expecting a back-to-back event of streetdancing and floral float parade were disappointed simply because they did not know it. The main challenge here is communicating ahead,” he said.
Both officials also stated positive impacts on the month-long celebration of this year’s Kadayawan.
Gatchalian said the essence of celebrating Kadayawan for a whole month is for the tourists to be distributed.
“If you are talking about sustainable tourism, you don’t want 100,000 people going to one place because it’s kind of damaging to our surroundings. What we experienced now they go to a certain event and that is good. If you only accommodate 100,000 for one weekend, probably we can accommodate 50,000 every weekend. If we gonna sum it up it is actually more than what we can handle,” he said.
Milan said there is a need to look at the holding capacity of a certain area in the city. He said spreading the tourists was good instead of containing them in one place in a given time.
“We’ve been talking about holding capacity. We cannot put 100,000 people in just one area in a given time. What about spreading this to 50,000 and 50,000, 50,000 in a week’s time? You are breaking it into a manageable level rather than just itambak yung lahat in one time which is very difficult and that’s our experiences. We need to really look at holding capacity and probably for our security forces it was easy to manage also because hindi nakatambak ang mga tao,” he said.
Milan said some locals also appreciated the spreading out of the major events.
“There were comments that our floral float parade is more beautiful than the other regions. Some locals appreciated the monthlong celebration. After explaining to them the reasons behind the changes kasi sabi nila dapat na communicate sila properly,” he said.