2024 Ironman race expected to draw visitors to Davao City, Sta. Cruz town
Photo credit to IRONMAN 70.3 Davao

2024 Ironman race expected to draw visitors to Davao City, Sta. Cruz town

DAVAO CITY — The local government units of Davao City and Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur which is set to jointly host Ironman 70.3 Davao in 2024, see big tourism gains with the arrival of participants from all over the world.

“Una-unang benefit is international promotions, considering we are next to Davao City and we are also a tourist destination, so this will boost maybe an increase in foreign visitor arrivals,” says Sta Cruz tourism and investments promotions officer Julius Paner during the press conference of the Ironman 70.3 Davao formal announcement held on October 25 at Matina Enclaves.

Paner said once race participants get to see Davao City and Sta. Cruz, they would possibly be thinking of visiting these places.

“After the event, doon siguro naming ma-feel yung impact ang Ironman sa aming tourism program,” Paner said.

Sta. Cruz, located south of Davao City, is traversed by high mountain ranges which include a portion of Mt. Apo. The Sta. Cruz trail going to the country’s highest peak attracts many visitors to the town.

International trail running competitions have been held along Sta. Cruz trail, the most recent was the Mt. Apo Vertical Challenge held on December 16-18, 2022, which attracted 150 trail-running competitors from 20 countries.

Paner said Mt. Apo’s beauty is a favorite among trail runners. Aside from Mt. Apo, other popular peaks in the town include Mt. Dinor and Mt. Loay, which hosted the five-kilometer Mt. Loay Eco-Challenge Race in February of this year.

“We are the trail-running capital of Davao Region, so the event [Ironman] creates many tourism opportunities for us,” Paner said.

For Davao City’s tourism operations office OIC Jennifer Romero, visitors will also experience the Kadayawan vibe as next year’s Ironman 70.3, Davao will be held in August, which is also known as Kadayawan month.

“We will see to it that we will be ready for the Ironman and the Kadayawan. Even before the launch of Ironman 70.3 we already discussed the date, so we will see to it that our events in the Kadayawan cohesive siya sa Ironman na hindi siya mag-overlap,” Romero said.

“The Ironman will be held on Sunday before the Kadayawan,” Romero said.

Romero said previous Ironman 70.3 events held in Davao have always attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the city. In the previous Ironman held on March 26 this year, there were 1,700 athletes from 46 countries. Also, tourism arrivals in the city during March tallied 90,000 visitors; the bulk came from the race.

The Ironman 70.3 Davao next year will feature a new course as the new Davao City Coastal Road will be the main venue of the race, with the bike segment reaching towards Sta. Cruz Municipality in the province of Davao del Sur.

The new race course will showcase the new coastal road, which is not just a road network but also a tourism attraction with parks and promenades. The backdrop of the race is the majestic view of Mt. Apo and the lush green ridges of Sta. Cruz. PIA DAVAO

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