The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) will be strengthening its support for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) industry in the coming years as it considers MICE promotions as one of the pillars of tourism marketing.
“I learned early on the importance of strengthening our MICE Promotions in the country,” said TPB chief operating officer Maria Margarita Nograles during the “Up Close and Personal” networking forum organized and hosted by the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM).
“It (MICE) is a low-hanging fruit from which we can fast-track our recovery and increase the country’s tourism receipts. I am deeply proud and elated that President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. also sees the value and importance of MICE as a tourism product,” added Nograles.
She explained that the business meetings industry and incentive travel groups have already established itineraries that require less investment in product development or destination promotions. These are easily replicated and mostly ready for implementation.
Another benefit of MICE events is the large number of arrivals they generate. With the latest data on ‘bleisure’ travel, conference attendees nowadays even bring their families along on business trips to extend it with leisure time.
In addition, tourists who come from conventions and exhibitions spend three times more than the average tourist. According to Nograles, DOT data shows that an average tourist spends US$169 per day during their stay in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, International Congress and Conventions Association (ICCA) data shows that convention and exhibition-related tourists spend at least US$4,553 per day on average, and AMEX data reports that incentive travel tourists spend an average of US$836 per day.
The TPB is committed to expanding its MICE promotions this year and beyond to further support the industry’s growth. Among these programs are the upcoming MICE Roadshow in Korea in partnership with DOT-Korea, the development of a new Philippine MICE Brand Identity, and the 2024 MICECON that will be held on July 10-12, 2024.
The TPB officer also reported that their ongoing service programs include supporting MICE bids. Some of the recent accounts where TPB helped in the bid process include the Asia Pacific Association of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology Congress held last December 2022, and the Asia Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Convention and Exhibition held in June 2023.
With the help of World Trade Center Metro Manila and other industry partners, Manila was awarded the hosting rights for the Rotary International Convention which is projected to draw some 25,000 to 30,000 persons into the country.
Nograles emphasized that strong partnerships with stakeholders and friends from the industry are vital factors for the fulfillment of TPB’s aspirations in sustaining the country’s tourism industry.
For WTCMM’s part, Guillermo D. Luchangco, chairman of the ICCP Group which owns and manages WTCMM said, “It is our duty to the country to ensure that tourism is one of the major pillars of growth of the Philippines.”
Luchangco explained that one of the industry sectors that is projected to boom is tourism, with many natural attractions to lure tourists and the added advantage of a warm and friendly population that is English-speaking.
“We at WTCMM believe that we have an important role to play in this scenario. After all, we are all about meetings, conventions, and exhibitions which are significant contributors to the number of visitors who come into the country,” he ended.