Sonny Dizon and Cebu Pacific bring tourists to Davao’s thrilling side
Known for its lush scenery, exotic fruits, captivating fauna and thrilling activities, Davao has earned top billing as a premiere destination for eco-adventure lovers. But unknown to most, Sonny Dizon, a visionary with a love for nature has been instrumental in helping drive Davao’s rising reputation.
The Davao connection
A Davaoeño through and through, Sonny started his foray into promoting eco-tourism in Davao with the Crocodile Park, a crocodile conservatorium. A long-time croc enthusiast, Sonny wanted to protect the remaining crocs in the country.
“I was inspired to get into eco-tourism because I was fascinated with crocodiles and wanted to teach people about the preservation of this species. They have great survival instincts,” he says.
What started as a fascination with these reptiles soon developed into a big venture that has helped spur Davao’s tourism. With a strong passion for the environment, he developed other enthralling attractions for adventurous travelers: ZipCity’s zipline experience with a 360-degree view of Davao City; Davao Wildwater Adventure’s adrenaline-pumping white-water rafting experience; Maxima Aquafun’s giant water slide called the Abyss; Tribu K Mindanawan’s cultural village; and, environment- friendly resorts like the Mt. Apo Highland Resort.
Aware of the immense tourism potential of Davao, Sonny has big plans for the future. He plans on transforming the picturesque Kapatagan area located at the foot of the renowned Mount Apo into a low-carbon eco-tourism haven, making it a leisure gateway to the grandfather of Philippine mountains.
Scaling the wonders of Davao
One with Sonny’s mission in promoting the eco-tourism potential of Davao is Cebu Pacific, as it brings local and foreign tourists to the wild wonders of Davao. “I fly with Cebu Pacific all the time. Like Davao, Cebu Pacific is world-class and has greatly encouraged domestic tourism. With its low fares, the airline has definitely encouraged more people to travel and experience Davao and everything it has to offer,” he says.
Tourists from all over the country and the world have been flocking to the many tourist spots Sonny has developed over the years. He lauds Cebu Pacific for making travel accessible, with the airline’s numerous flights to Davao: 39 times weekly from Manila, four times weekly from Cagayan de Oro, 21 times weekly from Davao, and 7 times weekly from Iloilo.
“Travel is very important because it gives one a competitive edge. I have traveled all over Asia, and I am amazed with other countries’ commitment to take care of their natural resources. This is why my advocacy is to continue making people aware of the wonders of nature,” says Sonny.
Together with Cebu Pacific, he continues to drive the popularity of Davao as the eco-adventure capital of the Philippines, with eager determination—a noble resolve only the wonders of Davao can inspire.