AFTER receiving positive feedback on its hosting of the Ironman 70.3 for two years, Davao City received an award for its debut hosting of the international sports event.
Davao City was awarded as "Best Destination Marketing" for Ironman 2018 during the Philippine Sports Tourism Awards held at the Resorts World in November 26.
The award was formally received by City Administrator Zuleika Lopez, City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head Generose Tecson, and Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) head Lemuel Ortonio during the flag raising ceremony at the City Hall of Davao on Monday, December 2.
Tecson said the award was bestowed to the city for its successful hosting of the Ironman 2018, despite the martial law implementation in Mindanao.
"We were able to hold a successful hosting of the Ironman, considering na martial law year siya and merong conflict in Marawi at that time (considering that it was a year when martial law was implemented, and at that time, there is a conflict in Marawi)," Tecson told SunStar Davao in a phone interview.
"They thought that di tayo makakakuha ng participants because of those issues (They thought that we won't be able to attract participants because of those issues), and yet we were able to have 28 countries present during the (first) Ironman," Tecson added.
She also said that during the registration for the Ironman 2018 held in October 2017, Davao City broke the record for the Ironman Philippine record with a total of 1,800 race participants, defeating Cebu City.
"We wowed the judges, because we broke records on our first staging, partida pa na may (and to think that there is an ongoing) Marawi crisis and under martial law conditions. The judges said that they were amazed at Davao City's resilience and determination," Tecson said.
The tourism officer also revealed that Davao City was rated as the "Best Ironman In Overall Preparation," and "Best Post Race Celebration" during the post evaluation survey in March 2018.
She said Davao City got an overall rating of 95 percent, as compared to Cebu City, who only got 88 percent.
"For a beginner, that's already high," Tecson said.
Earlier this year, she said the Ironman hosting in Davao City was also awarded the "Best Ironman in Asia 2018" during an awarding in Singapore.
Meanwhile, she said the city is already preparing for next year's hosting of the triathlon.
Tecson said on the part of CTOO, they are already preparing for the hotels, which will cater more participants for next year's event.
The Ironman for next year is slated on March 22, 2020.
In October, simultaneous registration for the third Ironman in the city was conducted.
Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office officer-in-charge Mikey Aportadera said they are projecting some 2,500 participants for next year.