Davao hotel occupancy rate still at 75%
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (28 March) -- The hotel industry in Davao City is still meeting its target despite limited events compared to last year's first quarter events.
Art Boncato, marketing manager of The Marco Polo Davao who also heads the Davao Cooperative Center for Visitors Convention (DCCVC) said they are hitting 75 percent occupancy rate and noticed the increasing of arrivals.
It may be recalled that January last year, Davao City hosted the Asean Tourism Forum that brought in thousands of visitors from different foreign countries.
Boncato who was interviewed by the Davao business reporters yesterday said among those included in the arrivals are those whose last visit to the country were about seven to ten years ago.
Davao, he said has a total of 3,000 high-end rooms available in different hotels namely, Marco Polo, 245, Waterfront Hotel, 158, Apo View, 157, Royal Mandaya, 119 and Regal (formerly Mercure Hotel), 217.
He said this is a good sign because previous visitors like them are slowly looking at Davao as a destination.
"These visitors maybe small in volume but what is important is they are looking at Davao as a destination and these are the people who pose a "wait and see" attitude towards our city and their confidence are slowly coming back," he aid.
He said they have regular corporate accounts coming from various companies in the country and the government that they consider as feather account. It could be high in numbers but low in revenues because of limited budget.
"This time we are looking at mix market and we want a diversified visitors," he said.
He said they want more leisure travelers and arrivals from different countries coming to Davao.
He acknowledged the efforts of the Arroyo administration in making Davao as an international destination.
In fact Boncato said he was told by those who joined the Asean Directors Meeting that took place at Marco Polo Hotel Davao that just ended yesterday that President Arroyo announced that the Philippines had joined the bidding for the convention of "Non-Align States" composed of different countries and indicated Davao as the site in 2009.
He said the government had been consistent in pushing Davao as the next international destination of the Philippines.
As far DCCVC is concerned, Boncato said the center operates like a marketing arm that assists events organizers in terms of venues and respond to assistance of convention organizers and other related concerns.
Boncato emphasized that they are not competing with the private groups that handles events but assist them and other convention organizers on how to do about it here in Davao.
"Our is a central body that would assist them and link them on their needs," he said.
With a start up fund, he said they will put up a website where prospective clients could check on details including specification of venues, dates, services, etc.
He said they will also produce guidebook on how to do it in Davao, do some network outside of Davao especially Manila because it is the biggest source of business. (PIA XI) [top]