“IT IS auspicious that we are commemorating our “4 Decades of DATA” in this month of love and in today’s Chinese New Year celebration. Indeed, the forty years of DATA’s existence is a testament of genuine love and passionate devotion to the industry we all freely gave of our time, talent and abilities with much joy and great pride! As we said then, and continue to say today, “We serve for the love of DATA, we serve for the love of Davao.”
Mary Ann “Baby” Montemayor couldn’t have said it any better. She has been an active member in the past, served a four-year term as president from 1992, and is still an active member today of Davao Tourism Association, an organization that started in the 70’s.
She is not alone. Like her, there are Dabawenyos who are as dedicated as her in uplifting the tourism status of Davao, and they were present at the celebration of the organization’s milestone.
The region’s tourism had its shares of ups and downs. The road was not smooth as we all dream it to be, the potholes were deep, the hurdles high. But hand in hand, the private sector and the government partners persevered over the occasional obstacles the industry had to deal with. Hard work, creativity and positive mindset have always been Davao tourism’s ally.
The Marco Polo Hotel ballroom was a river of rubies as the members, men and women representing the different decades of the Davao Tourism Association, people who have devoted their time and energy to push Davao’s in the forefront of Philippine tourism, came in red to commemorate the Ruby Year of DATA.
Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato, Jr., DATA 2001-2002 president and former DOT-XI Regional Director, explained the rol of the Department of Tourism in pushing the six regions of Mindanao. After which, he presented the current program as well as the tourism plans for Mindanao in the coming months.
Current DOT-XI Regional Director Roberto Alabado’s view of the region’s tourism is optimistic. With the growing number of destinations and specialized activities in the region, a thrust to increase the number of well-trained guides to showcase the region’s jewels is one of the entries in Alabado’s program.
Baby Montemayor also said, “Today, we can collectively assert that a great part of our dream the past 4 decades had become a reality. Tourism is suddenly Davao’s answer to spur economic growth. Hence, both government and the private sector have now embarked on vigorous promotional activities to make tourists and investors come our way,” and ended her welcome note with, “This is what this gathering is all about, an evening of love and thanksgiving where we happily look back at the small steps we have boldly taken to fight for Davao’s share of the tourism pie.”
Congratulations Davao Tourism Association! Mayo you continue to make Davao a destination more beautiful than it already is.
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