MICE market expanding outside Metro Manila

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s improving connectivity is driving cities outside of Metro Manila to position themselves as a destination of the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibition (MICE) sector, a property services sector said.

“I think a lot of the cities and municipalities outside Metro Manila, they’re positioning their cities as MICE,” Jones Lang Lasalle Philippines (JLL Philippines) head of research and consultancy Janlo de los Reyes said.

De los Reyes cited Iloilo, Davao and Bacolod as among the cities targeting the MICE market.

“They’re banking on the international connectivity,” De los Reyes said.

He cited Iloilo as an example of a city banking on not only international connectivity, but also on the improvement in infrastructure.

“I think Iloilo is looking at the same concept because they now have the bridge connecting Iloilo to Guimaras. Specifically, the MICE market is in Iloilo, they travel by boat to Guimaras for their leisure,” De los Reyes said.

Last month, Iloilo launched the P50 million Meet You in Iloilo campaign targeted at promoting what the city has to offer MICE delegates.

Apart from infrastructure, De los Reyes said other key selling points of a MICE destination is its tourism offerings.

“If you go back to hotel, it’s a really experiential industry so it’s really about the whole customer experience,”De los Reyes said.

He emphasized the quality of accommodations and tourism services offered to visitors as factors that impact the experience of guests.

MICE is among the 10 tourism products under the country’s national tourism development plan.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier emphasized that the MICE industry does not only make a destination more competitive, but also sustainable and very inclusive.

“The ripple effect of MICE is very far reaching as it provides direct and indirect jobs, making tourism everybody’s business,”Puyat said.

De los Reyes said that positioning a destination for MICE also helps boost occupancy rates of hotels.

“What we found in our study is that if you have a MICE facility, automatically, it drives up your occupancy because you have the guest staying there,” he said.

Moreover, JLL said growth is also seen in the Metro Manila MICE market.

“Government agencies also help in driving the occupancy rates for MICE events, typically in Quezon City. Meanwhile, the private sector usually holds MICE events in Pasay City, due to its proximity to NAIA, and Makati City, due to its proximity to businesses’ headquarters in CBDs,” JLL said.

Last year, the DOT launched the MICE Roadmap 2030, which plans a more definitive approach to the growing industry.

Under the roadmap, the industry is eyeing to grow revenues generated by MICE market to P24.4 billion by 2030, an estimated 430 percent rise from the P4.6 billion registered in 2016.

In addition, the roadmap also targets the gross value added of the MICE industry to increase to P1.4 billion by 2030 from P415.3 million in 2013, and an improvement of the average rate in delegate expenditure per meeting by 19 percent.

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