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Business booms in Baguio City as 18th Ad Congress draws near

BAGUIO CITY – Business, big or small, booms with the 18th Advertising Congress next week as business groups admit all roads lead to the the country’s biggest gathering of advertisers on Nov. 19-22.

Carlos Honorio Estepa, national director and Northern Luzon chair of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the return of the AdCon in the city is another feat for the country’s "vacation capital," leading the rest of the cities in terms of international convention standards.

He acknowledged that the holding of the AdCon in the city will spur more than the usual economic activity in all sectors, especially the service sector like hotels and restaurants.

The week-long congress, he said, will spell big for the agriculture sector in nearby La Trinidad, the country’s "strawberry and flower capital" including the highland vegetable industry of Northern Benguet towns.

Estepa also sees that the transport sector will also gain from the tens of thousands of participants and droves of families and friends that will trek to the city.

The best thing, of course, "is that everything that has a play in the economy will have a larger sale," Estepa also said.

In the long term, Estepa said, "We become aware that we are a destination. The upkeep and "upmake" of the city will definitely turn better once everyone realizes that we should be better to become "a world class convention city."

Once this is realized, "next year dito na naman sila," he added.

This year’s hosting, the business leader said, will also make the community realize the need to be bullish to improve services. He cited available hotels for participants of bigger conventions like AdCon.

Baguio has only two five star hotels, the Baguio Country Club and the Manor Hotel at Club John Hay. "We need to have more of those," he said.

He added that the needs assessment of the city as the AdCon is hosted this year points to the realization of the Metro-Baguio program to expand the opportunity to the BLIST area.

The Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba (BLIST) concept aims to distribute business opportunities in four other towns adjacent to the city to accommodate the pressing business interests of this highland tourist destination. "We need other places for us to expand," he reiterated.

Estepa however admits that with the present set-up sans BLIST, the four towns are ready recipient of the boom atmosphere before, during and even after the AdCon.

Estepa said that aside from available land spaces within BLIST area, the four neighboring towns can host eco-tourism sites aside from vast farms for strawberry and cut flower.

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