Saturday, December 20, 2008

Paradise Island in Davao City

Seven-hectare resort to rise in Samal

DAVAO City - The Bangayan Group of Companies is building a nine-hectare resort-residential complex on Samal Island that is expected to drive tourism activities in Davao region.

Under construction is the Holiday Oceanview Resort & Spa, which includes a 120-room hotel, a 400-room condominium complex, a marina, and a subdivision. The whole project is expected to be completed by 2009.

Brokers of the P300-million complex, however, are already selling the residential component of the project and participated in the Davao Travel Show at the SM City.

Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano, who attended the travel show and inspected the different tourism projects in Davao over the weekend, said the rise of Davao as a major tourist destination is encouraging the development of hotels and resorts.

Davao is being promoted as an achor destination of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Growth Area.

Nearly 600,000 foreign and domestic tourists went to Davao region in the first nine months of 2007. Davao region groups the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Island of Samal and Davao City.

Art Boncato Jr., director of sales and marketing of Marco Polo hotel in Davao, confirmed that both foreign and local tourists have been flocking to Mindanao in recent years.

He said occupancy rate at Marco Polo reached a record high of more than 70 percent in 2007, and signs are looking better this year.

Despite the new projects rising in Davao, Boncato said Marco Polo will remain the most luxurious accommodation facilities in the city.

The growth of tourism in Davao city has also triggered investments and projects in other areas of Davao such as Tagum.

Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy said tourism has been inducing economic growth in his city. Tagum is being promoted as the festival city of Mindanao.