The Dinagyang Festival serves as the main driver of any activity in Iloilo City, benefitting not just tourism but also ancillary services.
Maria Victoria Lara, Iloilo Business Club (IBC) executive director, said that the festival is among the reasons why investments continue to pour into the city.
“The festival has translated into economic benefits. Unique at that, the festival is not just about the parade. It’s about food, arts, performances, sports. It is multi-faceted. It’s a poster event of Ilonggos,” she said.
Lara added that Dinagyang kiosks alone could generate about P30,000 in three days.
“If they have not recognized the benefit of attaching their brand with our festival and how it will translate to income or revenue for them, then they would not have supported us. The fact that they are here since we started is proof enough that we have helped them with their sales,” she said.
The IBC head also looks forward to foreign tourists visiting the city this Dinagyang.
“It’s a good year for us. We are having another set of tourists this year starting with a cruise ship,” she said.
A Japanese cruise ship with 750 guests and crew will arrive in Iloilo City on Jan. 26, second day of the Dinagyang three-day highlights.
“It’s something that we hope we will be able to sustain the business operations, both the old and the new,” Lara said.PNA