APEC readiness to boost Cebu’s positioning as MICE destination
Ehda Dagooc (The Freeman) - August 12, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The intensive preparation of hotels and other related service providers for APEC delegates is seen to boost the positioning of Cebu as premier MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) destination and further gain mileage to the global market.

Tourism advocate Robert Lim Joseph said that the different expansion moves, and service and upgrading of amenities, including training programs for personnel, are just few of the factors which provide Cebu a couple of steps higher in terms of attracting local and global MICE events.

This long-term effect that Cebu could expect after hosting some of the APEC meetings, will not only put Cebu in the global MICE spotlight, it will also heighten awareness of some international investors to see the potential of Cebu.

"APEC delegates are businessmen too. Some of them are tourism investors," said Joseph stressing that everyone should collaborate in making the event "seamless" as this is one of the crucial events that will make or break Cebu's positioning to make MICE as primary driver for tourism growth.

Some hotels in Cebu, specifically those that are appointed to host so of the APEC meetings, invested several millions of pesos to renovate, upgrade both their services and amenities, to present Cebu well to the international market.

Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu for instance, invested several million pesos to elevate the standard of service, product, including amenities, not only to impress the dignified APEC officials, but to sell Cebu to the most influential people in the work, said the hotel's general manager Nishan Silva, in an interview.

Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu will host the most number of meetings and 350 rooms of its total 400 rooms have been booked for the APEC delegates.

Likewise, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu recently completed its P300 million renovation program in time for APEC.

"At the end of the day, our goal is to drive Cebu as a premier MICE destination," Silva said.

Meanwhile, Julie Najar, president of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) said that while the accommodation sector is unquestionably ready to host world-class events, Cebu should immediately provide bigger convention facility.

Although, hotels and even resorts are investing on expanding the accommodation of their respective ballrooms and convention facilities, a bigger convention facility is needed, specially that Cebu is capitalizing on bigger MICE events globally, said Najar.

"We do not have [right] venue or facility for bigger conventions and events yet. CICC has to be renovated and expanded to fit the requirement of MICE market. It has to have additional amenities for back-end operations like kitchen, etcetera," said Najar in an interview.

Last year, major hotels in Cebu reported an all-time-high performance, owing to the strengthening of Cebu's positioning as preferred destination MICE events.

Najar, who is the general manager of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, said that MICE has become a driver force of hotel's thriving business in Cebu bolstered by the province "irresistible" leisure destination advantage. (FREEMAN)

 

 

APEC CEBU JULIE NAJAR MARCO POLO PLAZA CEBU MICE NAJAR NISHAN SILVA QUOT RADISSON BLU HOTEL CEBU RESORT AND RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION OF CEBU ROBERT LIM JOSEPH
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