Mayor vows to support sports tourism in Dumaguete City

DUMAGUETE CITY-– Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo on Tuesday vowed to support efforts to promote sports tourism in this capital city of Negros Oriental.

Mayor Remollo made the commitment during a Kapihan sa PIA forum at a local hotel in the city which featured tourism consultant and businessman Charles Lim of Selrahco Management and Consultancy Services, who will be spearheading a Sport Tourism Forum here on February 2.

According to Mayor Remollo, sports is, indeed, a tourism draw and Dumaguete City has already proven its worth in previous years to host large-scale sporting events and other competitions.

He cited the recent staging of the University Games (UniGames) late last year in Dumaguete City, which was a success.

It was the 2nd time for Dumaguete City to host the UniGames, the first one in 1998 and the 2nd one in 2016, both under the watch of Remollo as the mayor of Dumaguete.

Remollo issued a call for different sectors to support the sports tourism forum that Lim, whom he has known and worked with starting with sporting events in Clark, Pampanga and onwards.

The mayor noted that Clark is now “enjoying the fruits” of what Charles Lim had initiated about five years ago.

“We are bullish about sports tourism and this will grow, but we need the support of corporate sponsors to make this succeed,” he added.

According to Remollo, corporate sponsors are needed around the world, as well as media promotions, to bring in the tourists.

But the local chief executive cautioned that “sports should be shielded from politics so that we can send the best Philippine athletes to international competitions”.

Mayor Remollo noted that in many instances, a Philippine delegation to a sporting competition abroad usually has more officials than athletes and that practice must be stopped.

Among the necessary steps to complement the promotion of sports tourism here, Remollo noted, is the improvement of sports facilities and accommodation.

Sports tourism will put Dumaguete City in the map of the sporting world but first “we have to start building and/or improving the sports facilities here”, Remollo added.

The Sports Tourism Forum, meanwhile, will bring together different resource speakers on a variety of topics, such as how to attract corporate sponsors, budgeting, participating in the bidding process, and how to organize sporting events especially during the off-season, among others, said Lim.

Lectures and workshops will also include preparing project proposals and marketing strategies, he added.

Lim is hoping to get the full support, cooperation and participation of the local government units (LGUs) and the business establishments to make use of sports to boost the tourism industry here.

There is a lot of potential here, Lim noted, citing Apo Island which is a renowned dive destination and which he describes as “one of the best dive spots in the world”.

According to Lim, tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and sports and tourism combines has become the “fastest growing sector” worldwide.

Sports Tourism is any activity where people are attracted to a particular location as a sport event participant, an event spectator, or to attend sports-related business meetings, Lim said.

This creates new revenue streams and resources for local event organizers,s ports friendly businesses and sports in general, he added.

The Sports Tourism Forum was established in 2005 by Selrahco Management headed by Charles Lim and has been held in many cities in the Philippines previously, such as Cebu, Bacolod and Subic.

It aims to help a city or province become “the ultimate sports host venue” with its vision to include being able to evaluate sporting and tourist facilities of each destination, particularly the capacities and standards, stadiums, hotels and transportation;

To establish the sports appropriate for each destination and its viability; establish LGU and national sports association support; provide inputs on sports event organizing, marketing and sponsorship; and provide inputs on media exposure on destination marketing.

Registration fee for the Sports Tourism Forum is at P700.00 per person with a 20 percent discount for students.

Lim encouraged LGUs, sports associations, schools, government and private entities, tour operators and other businesses, among others, to attend the Sports Tourism Forum next month.