The 2019 Palarong Pambansa, which officially opened Sunday, is not only a sporting event but an opportunity to promote the city as a tourism destination, according to City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) Chief Gene Rose Tecson.
“It’s part of our push as a MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) destination. We have free city tours available from April 29 to May 3 on a first come first served basis,” Tecson told the Davao City Information Office.
Tecson, however, said the free tours are available only for officials of the different participating teams in the Palaro. The city has designated a pick-up point for those who want to join the tour. There will be two groups for the tour.
Tour A will take the participants to a walking tour of the San Pedro Square, the Tribal Village, and the People’s Park.
Tour B will take them to President Rodrigo Duterte’s House, Shrine Hills and the People’s Park Tecson said the Palarong Pambansa, which runs until May 5, will take the delegates to the different facets of the city starting from their different billeting quarters.
Mikey Aportadera, the head of the Sports Development Division of the City Mayors Office (SDD-CMO), said there will be more than 20 games that will be played in at least 26 playing venues spread across the city.
The organizers expect the number of people could reach up to 20,000, including the 15,000 athletes and the technical officials, converging in the city for the national games.
Even the P8-billion Davao City-University of the Philippines Sports Complex in Bago Oshiro, Tugbok District, where the opening of the Palaro was held, has become an attraction in itself because of its picturesque backdrop.
Mayor Inday Sara Duterte believes that the city’s hosting of the three major sporting events – the Davao Regional Athletic Association (DAVRAA) in February, the Ironman in March, and now the Palarong Pambansa, will move the city closer to its vision of becoming a premier sports tourism destination. CIO