Published on : Friday, November 30, 2018
The Philippines can build on “experiential” or “heartware” tourism amid the lack of infrastructure while strengthening its campaign for increasing arrivals through the meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions/events (MICE) industry.
Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Chief Operating Officer Marie Venus Tan said this as part of the marketing strategy for the country to compete with its regional neighbors. Tan, along with the host-city’s Mayor Evelio Leonardia, led the formal opening of the three-day MICE Conference 2018 at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City on Wednesday.
The event runs till Thursday with about 500 participants, and is known as the biggest gathering of MICE professionals in the country.
“The Philippines should start focusing on who we are, our culture. That is our strength. We should build on what is experiential…The mayor said the smile… that’s what attracts people,” Tan said.
“As far as we are concerned, infrastructure is one thing. I have always maintained that Philippines has the “heartware” while other competitors have the hardware. That is our competitive advantage because travel is all about emotions. We build on that strength of the Filipinos,” the TPB chief added.
The MICE industry is a major contributor towards the Philippines tourism and through the MICE Roadmap 2030, the country aims to increase revenues derived from the MICE industry to around PHP25 billion.
The Philippines aims to grow annual MICE arrivals to 3 percent and increase the total usable space for exhibitions to over 170,895 square meters.