THE Davao Tourism Association (DATA) welcomes its new set of officers during its annual meeting and installation of officers ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023 at the Park Inn by Radisson in Davao City.

Taking the lead this year is Joji Ilagan International Schools Chief Operating Officer and Sans Hotel Luxebridge Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nicole Hao Bian Ledesma.

To signify the start of the new leadership for Davao tourism industry’s private sector, DATA past president Cherry Faye Al-ag turned over the association's flag to Ledesma.

Completing the list of officers are Lynn B. Navarro of St. Citha Blue Corp as Vice President; Edna Villegas - Cheng of Gap Farm as Secretary; Ronald Go of Ecotrans as Treasurer; Pia Montano of PAR Travel and Tours as Auditor; and Cherry Al-ag of Elysia Wellness and Spa as Ex Officio.

Present during the ceremony are the DATA past presidents Mary Ann “Baby” Montemayor, Gene Bangayan, and Joji Ilagan Bian.

The ceremony was also graced by the Department of Tourism Undersecretary Myra Paz Abubakar as the guest of honor.

Ledesma said that there's a big challenge ahead to bounce back the tourism industry in the city, however she is optimistic and confident that the city can surpass the set target of 1.8 million tourist arrivals this year.

“With the resounding success of MICECON last March and many MICE-related activities in the pipeline, I am confident that Davao can surpass its targets,” the newly-installed DATA president said.

The City Tourism Operations Office has set a target of 1.8 million tourist arrivals for this year in Davao City, 2.5 million tourists for 2024, and 2.7 million for 2025.

Davao City is positioned as the emerging MICE or Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions hub in the country.

Ledesma added that she will lead DATA moving forward to be adaptive and innovative to the emerging trends and global developments in tourism.

“Moving forward we must be able to adapt, to innovate, to keep abreast of emerging trends and global developments. And position ourselves at the forefront of driving the future of our industry,” she said.

DATA is a private-led organization that focuses on the development of the tourism industry in Davao City. It is composed of active tourism players from all sectors of the tourism ecosystem.