THE tourism department yesterday said it was expecting over 220 thousand tourists in the city during the entire fiesta season.

Department of Tourism regional director Catalino Chan III said the expected number of tourists in the city, which is a rough estimate, includes the balikbakayan.

The DOT, he said, would be validating the figures with the help of bus companies, airlines and shipping companies. He said the firms would be asked to provide data on the volume of passengers. Hotels, too, would be asked to provide the DOT data.

Chan said the DOT has noted that the fiesta events were “compressed” in three days unlike last year when fiesta activities were spread all throughout the whole month, including the St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral’s masses that culminated on the feast day of St. Augustine.

After much criticism last year due to lack of events, Promote CDO Foundation changed tack this year and lumped the core events in three days from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28, according to Chan.

The Foundation is bound by a contract with city hall to manage the city fiesta activities in five years or from 2007 to 2011. The Foundation is expected to renew its contract by 2012 if its wins the approval of the city council.

The core city fiesta activities would start on Aug. 26 with the coronation of Miss Kagay-an 2010, followed by the Kagay-an Folkloric Dance competition on Aug. 27.

The 4th Golden Float Parade Competition will be held on Aug. 28. By sunset, the Halad sa Lambagohan fluvial parade would be staged.

One of the liveliest fiesta celebrations Cagayan de Oro had experienced was in 2003 when a whole block –the corners of Hayes, Velez, Chavez and Tiano streets–was closed off for a street party. The whole block was jampacked with thousands that Mayor Vicente Emano was barely able to move.

Back then, city hall managed the fiesta activities.

article by Mark Francisco of Gold Star Daily

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