Sports tourism events can be a big boost to hosting destinations, as travelers and participants spend their money on food, pasalubong, and souvenirs, much like recent events I attended over the past couple weeks.
Last weekend, I was in Dumaguete City to attend the Unity Ride, where 300 big bikers from across the Visayas rode.
Spotted during the Unity Ride were Manolet Lamata, Lito Aves, Hernan Fermin, Mikey Benedicto, Bong Piodos, Owen Ong, among others.
Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo hosted a dinner during the event and said he is looking to widen the Rizal Boulevard walk in order to accommodate for other events, including beach volleyball.
I had previously met with Remollo at the Negros Oriental Tourism Summit, where we discussed tourism plans for the city.
I was also invited for coffee by Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.
The governor, alongside personal consultant, Dr. Nick Elman, and Provincial Tourism Officer Myla Abellana, presented provincial tourism programs to the big bikers.
Remollo also stressed the importance of a better road network within the Negros Island Region (NIR), with a goal of cutting travel time for visitors – the mayor is correct.
Last year, the mayor proposed building a major highway connecting Dumaguete City with Bacolod City that, through the construction of several tunnels, would run through the mountains.
He projects travel time would reduce from five hours to two hours.
Many do not see the logic of traveling five hours between the two NIR provinces. Iloilo City is nearer to Bacolod City, and Cebu City is much more convenient.
I was also in Davao City to host the Davao Sports Tourism Forum at the Grand Menseng Hotel, which was indeed a success.
The Negros Oriental provincial government recently held a terror attack simulation along Rizal Boulevard. Kudos to Bimbo Miraflor for making it happen.
Minandaoans may be happy with the imposition of Martial Law, however, it is amusing how people in Luzon are so opposed to the policy. One can only assume it is being instigated by opposing political parties.
While in Davao City, it was the same peaceful city I had grown up in. We rode a taxi at midnight, ate durian at a fruit stand, and everything was peaceful./WDJ