OPPORTUNITIES are aplenty for Davao City in 2018.
Aside from the usual Araw ng Dabaw Festival and Kadayawan Festival that bring in thousands of tourists in March and August, respectively, 2018 will also position the city as the premier sports tourism destination in this part of the region.
The 1,500 slots available for the Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao slated March 25 next year was recently sold out barely four days when registration opened.
Though a good number of entries are from Mindanao or other parts of the country, triathletes from the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, China, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom of Great Britain, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Italy Japan, Monoco, Mexico, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan, United States of America and Vietnam will also vie for honors in the race.
The presence of foreign participants, thus, will show Davao City's potentials in sports tourism to the world, its strength in governance and peace and order, rich and diverse culture and solid business environment.
But before the Ironman event, the city will test its mettle when it plays host to the 2018 Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) Meet that will bring together some 6,000 delegates of athletes, coaches and officials. Then, if each elementary or secondary athlete brings a guardian, a parent or more family members as support group, that would be hundreds or a thousand more setting foot here.
Wow! With more people and more vehicles, expect traffic to be worse than it is now. The Davao City Government has to really map out a very good traffic management plan because the way things are going now with the usual number of people and vehicles in the city, the public have been complaining. What would become of us come 2018?
A successful staging of these two huge sporting events next year will be a good step for the city's ambitious bid to host the 2019 Palarong Pambansa that will have 10,000 to 12,000 delegates from 18 participating regions.
The executive committees for the Ironman and Davraa Meet 2018 have started preparing this early. We hope that all stakeholders will give the Davao City Government the support it needs in hosting these two events.