DOT 7 identifies three priorities to lift Cebu’s tourism advantage

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - August 11, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Tourism stakeholders in Cebu have identified three priorities that need attention to boost the province's tourism edge, Department of Tourism Central Visayas regional office announced yesterday.

Cebu will focus on reinforcing activities, promotional strategies and other programs that are geared to strengthen Cebu's edge, these are the MICE. (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibits), Hop-On/Hop-Off, and Night Market activities, said DOT-7 regional director Rowena Montecillo.

Tourism organizations like the Cebu Association of Tour Operators (CATO), National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (Naitas), Network of Independent Travel Agencies (NITAS), Tourism Tours Unite in Region 7 (TOUR 7), Federation of Tourism Transport Operations in Cebu (FTTOC), and Cebu Association of Rent-a-Car COM (CARCOM) have pledged to work with the DOT-7 and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) to create a team work on the three identified projects to be launched in the first quarter of 2017.

"These three projects will help boost and encourage more tourists to visit and choose the region as their venue for special and major events," said Montecillo.

During the group's initial meeting, Montecillo said CATO committed to take care of the MICE related activities, while Naitas will formulate strategies on how to re-introduce the Hop-on/Hop-off activity to tickle the market's interest, while the DTI and DOT will revive and make Cebu Night Market, an event that will be talked about by tourists.

Earlier, Montecillo announced the creation Cebu MICE manual, a move which is also supported by the tourism private sector players

She said that her office will also mount series of trainings to equip all stakeholders in handling Mice events.

According to Montecillo, the MICE manual contains dedicated, organized direction for MICE organizers, such as incentives, detailed and basic directory of MICE venues, suppliers, among others.

Montecillo said Cebu has proven its capability to hosts big Mice events. In fact it got positive feedback from Mice guests. The recent prominent MICE events such as the APEC Summit, International Eucharistic Congress, and other low-key but big delegation of multinational corporate events, strengthen Cebu's capability and strong appeal to draw more of this kind of market.

In fact, hotels, resorts in Cebu reported brisk revenue and occupancy performance due to the increasing MICE related bookings in the recent years. (FREEMAN)

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