Tourism forum at the Grand Men Seng function room
I am reposting this article below by good friend and colleague Maya Padillo of Mindanao Daily Mirror because she said it well.
Davao brand aiming to boost tourism proposed
By Maya Padillo, Mindanao Daily Mirror
A brand that aims to boost the tourism industry of Davao City is now being processed after a multi-sectoral consultative meeting on the proposed Davao City tourism branding was held yesterday at the Grand Men Seng Hotel.
The overview of the proposal was presented by Eastgate Publishing president and Mabuhay Magazine editor-in-chief Simeon Ventura Jr., who presented the marketing plan, brand analysis, and target market.
According to Ventura, the brand should cater to the MICE market (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions). The venue should also be acceptable across the board and could accommodate delegates.
He said the brand should assure the market that Davao has the infrastructure for MICE.
“Let the MICE market put Davao as competitive and worth the trip,” Ventura said.
Davao ranked sixth place in tourism among local destinations, with more than 300,000 visitors last year.
According to Ventura, some issues that make Davao lag behind other destinations include the following: Davao has no strong image although it has one strong visual equity in Mt. Apo; it has no defined positioning; it has no consistent word or phrase associated with it; and there is no buzz around it.
Ventura said a budget of five percent of the income of the city should be allocated for brand marketing.
The successful brand imaging has been adopted by local destinations such as Cebu (“an island in the Pacific”), Camarines Sur (“CamSur”), and countries in Asia like India (“Incredible India”), Thailand (“Amazing Thailand”), Malaysia (“Malaysia Truly Asia”), and Indonesia (“Wonderful Indonesia”).
He said CamSur, which has only few natural attractions and is frequently hit by typhoons, has chosen tourism to drive growth and adopted a “build and they will come” approach. It built the CamSur Wakeboarding Center (CWC) that generates income and provides jobs and livelihood.
The approach has catapulted CamSur from 39th to 10th in local tourism.
“Davao has at least 20 attractions, unlike CamSur that has only two. If you want to do something, do it differently, do it out of the box. You have a Ferrari, and it’s time Davao drives a Ferrari,” Ventura said.
According to city tourism officer Jason Magnaye, the challenge now is to come up with a single name for Davao.
“This is an initiative of the city government to promote tourism in Davao. We should not be confused about what Davao is all about,” Magnaye said.
He said the brand will be launched before Holy Week.
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In addition to the article above, last week I had the privilege to view Mr. Ventura’s presentation along with City Tourism Officer Jason Magnaye and select individuals prior to the forum in Marco Polo. It elicited a positive response from the group.
The only time I stood out to voice my opinion was to inform the group that the last time we were able to hype Davao successfully was in 1996 with the tagline “Davao: City in Bloom.”
We are way past blooming. Davao is reaping a lot of the harvest now. Time for the spotlight on us again.