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DOT targets to make PH top int’l convention destination

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By Charina Clarisse Echaluce

The launch of a multisectoral plan that envisions to reestablish the Philippines as a top international convention destination, as well as a flourishing business and trade hub in the Asia-Pacific region, was led recently by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo (DOT/Manila Bulletin)

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo (DOT/Manila Bulletin)

The DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), together with the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers Inc. (PACEOS) and the Department of Trade and Industry Board of Investments (DTI-BOI), crafted the “Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) Roadmap 2030.”

The “MICE Roadmap 2030” aims to place the country to the top 10 rankings in International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

“The DOT stands by PACEOS in promoting the Philippines as a top MICE destination. The country’s successful hosting of big-ticket international events recently proved that we are on the right track,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo said.

Teo assured PACEOS that the government fully supports its efforts to bring back the Philippines’ luster as an international event venue.

“The Philippines ranked 8th worldwide and 1st in the Asian region in the annual listing of leading world convention destinations in 1982. With this roadmap, we can reclaim our rightful place as a MICE powerhouse,” said Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr.

In the 2016 ICCA Statistic Report Country & City Rankings, the country placed 48th out of the 116 countries worldwide and 14th of 35 countries in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions in terms of having the most number of meetings.

Last year, the DOT made possible the country’s hosting of big events including the Miss Universe 2016, Madrid Fusion Manila, the sixth UNWTO International Conference on Tourism Statistics, and the World Street Food Congress.

The country also hosted the World Economic Forum, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit.

“Indeed, the crafting of the MICE Roadmap 2030 has come at the right time while the Philippines is becoming a favored destination for tourism, investments and MICE activities in the region,” said BOI executive director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa.

“Since the cooperation between the private sector and the government is very, very good specially in crafting the roadmap, I’m very positive that we can reach our goals for the industry. Launching the MICE Roadmap 2030 is the signal that we are looking at the direction for the MICE industry,” added PACEOS president Jing Lagandaon.

Among the key thrusts of the MICE Roadmap 2030 are “to provide enabling policies and institutional support, accelerate infrastructure improvements, develop a highly competitive human resource, and strengthen research and development.”

In 2030, the roadmap targets a gross value-added of MICE industry increase by P1.4 billion; improvement of the average rate in delegate expenditure per meeting by 19 percent; P24.8-billion MICE revenues; additional of at least 100,000 sq-m exhibition space; 3 percent per annum increase in the number of MICE arrivals alongside the top 10 ICCA ranking in Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

“We continue to recognize MICE as a high-impact and high-value add sector. This is why MICE is once again identified by the National Tourism Development Plan as one of the country’s nine tourism products,” Teo said.

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