Davao outlook 2020

Davao ended 2019 with a good score. Business opportunities were high, infrastructures were rising, so was tourism arrivals. The opening of new restaurants signaled how the locals were on the lookout for new cuisines to excite their palates and balanced the feasting with health care. 

What’s the outlook for the different sectors in Davao this 2020?

Kublai Millan & Nicole Hao Bian

Art. Kublai Millan, artist

We gave birth to Mindanao Art last year with a blast. This year’s fair will surely grow by leaps. This year’s theme will be “Voices of the Regions.” Expect more culturally inspired, home grown works and talents!

The once Manila-centric art has now heard of Mindanao art due to its multiple exposures in national media and popular art magazines, a first step in the national art market. More reason for Mindanao artists to unite, to let the country know of the fertile kind of art we grow.

Education. Nicole Hao-Bian, VP for Educational Development, JIB International Schools

Davao is now a center for education for Mindanao and the entire country where you have the presence of universities and colleges. Due to globalization and internationalization, there will also be more Innovations in the industry that will make education more accessible and borderless which can be achieved through technology aided learning that is more personalized and flexible. The challenge now for academic leaders is how to thrive in this ever changing environment with the now generation Z students.

Jimmy Javier & GeneRose Tecson

Tourism. GeneRose Tecson, Davao City Tourism Officer

It’s going to be a busy year for Davao tourism-wise. With the two big festivals on the calendar, hosting of MICECON 2020 and increased number of international flights, we are positive that we will exceed the 2million tourist arrivals. We are looking forward to the cooperation of the private sector to ensure that their businesses are legal and licensed as tourism establishments.

Fitness. Jimmy Javier, Trainer/Owner BeeFit gyms

The fitness industry this year will be positive. New gyms are opening while the others are upgrading. More are into health awareness so we are expecting more will get into fitness this year. In these times’ fast-paced lifestyle, people don’t want to stay in the gym too long.  This is why functional training like body weight exercise and high-intensity interval training that last for 30 to 35 minutes but with good benefits work for them.

Khens Ledaga & Joy Loyola

Fashion. Khens Ledaga, Designer

While blue is the color of the year, fashion’s 2019 happy, neon colors will continue this year. Forest prints in green, like tropical leaves, will be in. 

With Catriona Grey wearing garments in Mindanao fabrics, the trend will still be present this year. There is a continuous demand for the indigenous fabric in formal wear making the fabric and its inspiration well represented fashion-wise in other regions of the country.

Travel.  Joy Loyola, travel agent, Allied Travel & Tours

We’re looking at more travelers this year with the increase of direct links to international hubs. It’s going to be a two-way traffic for tourism. 

Hosting the MICECON2020 will be an additional exposure for Davao and will increase inbound tourism. The local travelers in turn utilizes the direct flights well. Because of the easy access from Davao, places like Hong Kong, Japan, China and Europe were popular destinations in 2019, and we’re looking at more travelers this 2020. 

With news of a bigger and improved airport, it shows that this government in investing in tourism. The Consulate General offices move of issuing visas in Davao will also increase outbound travel. 

Jenny Romero & Lena Benedicto

Cuisine. Lena Benedicto, restaurateur.

Looking back at the food trend last year, Filipino food was prominent in the scene. But it has evolved, or should I say, returned back to its roots. From the Filipino Fusion, the focus now is on Filipino Heritage food. It’s food how our grandparents would cook it.

Food has become a passion. Taste, preparation, plating and the look of the restaurant is leveling up. Competition is tough.  Even the diners have become more discriminating in their dining choices. Davao restaurants have to keep up with the demand to stay relevant.

Hospitality. Jennifer Romero. Hotelier/President- Davao Hotels Sales and Marketing Association

With the increasing arrivals to the country and thriving investments in the city, we are expecting a bigger slice of the market this 2020. For DHRSMA — as a unified force — it’s important that we take an active role in promoting and positioning Davao as the MICE destination of the South By actively participating in local trade shows and international sales missions organized by Philippine Tourism Promotions Board.

They say a place is only as good as its people. I believe the people of Davao are much like its city, they’re brave and beautiful. These make Davao unique. 

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.

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