Improved MICE Good for Philippines
(This is an opinion on the article Tourism body gears up to promote MICE in Philippines by Mary Grace Padin for The Philippine Star on October 19, 2016.)
The Philippines would like to be a bigger player in the MICE (meetings, incentive trips, conventions and exhibitions) industry.
This industry is one of the most lucrative source of tourism and business (interest and investments) for most countries. A higher MICE capacity would bring in additional tourism, business interest and revenues for a country.
Our ASEAN neighbors have seen a boom in MICE in the past decade. They’re steadily improving in promotion and capacity (facilities and services) to accommodate the industry’s huge need.
According to TPB’s (Tourism Promotions Board) MICE OIC Teresita Landan, we’re looking to improve Philippines’ 6th ranking in Southeast Asia this year.
Landan said the TPB assisted a total of 176 MICE events booked in the Philippines last year. These only include conferences and exhibitions with foreign delegates and do not count purely domestic events.
She said each event accommodated around 300 to 500 individuals, with about half of the participants being foreign delegates.
Landan said the TPB was looking at increasing the number of events it assists by 10 percent to reach roughly 200 international MICE events this year.
The TPB, an attached agency of the Department of Tourism, gives planning and logistical assistance to event organizers and corporations who intend to hold their conferences and incentives trips in the Philippines.
“We give them assistance in securing permits, we have an inter-agency meeting among the Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Immigration for easy facilitation of delegates’ arrivals, and we give brochures and giveaways,” Landan said.
Even though TPB is in partnership with the private sector which can provide huge discounts in airline and hotel bookings, they’re still in need of fiscal incentives. For our country to be attractive for organizers, a good budget is needed to fund this promotional tool.
The Duterte government should consider allotting a sizable budget to improve our country’s facilities and services (ease in travel and ease of doing business). This will not only benefit the MICE sector but our country’s overall livability (local tourism will also improve).
By these efforts, our beautiful country, culture and business environment would be properly showcased. Revenues and investments would then follow not too far behind.