HOTEL players and investors are encouraged to prepare for the entry of big-ticket meetings, incentive, conferences and incentives (Mice) as the government pushes for its Bid, Bid, Bid campaign.
Under this campaign, the Department of Tourism will promote the country as a Mice destination by bidding to host big-ticket events.
Tourism advocate and Network of Independent Travel Agencies chairman emeritus Robert Joseph said the country, particularly Cebu, is facing a “happy problem,” as far as the Mice segment of tourism is concerned.
“All eyes are on Cebu and yet we lack rooms to accommodate the guests. But it’s a happy problem,” said Joseph. “It’s better to have the demand than none at all. Now, we need to work on opening more rooms and venues.”
Cebu has 24,000 rooms available across all classifications across the province. In Metro Cebu, there are about 10,000 rooms.
Joseph said some big events with participants exceeding 10,000 cannot be held in Cebu, as some of them also bring their families
Joseph encouraged investors in the tourism industry to begin looking at the opportunities in the Mice market. He said Cebu’s enhanced connectivity abroad positions the province as the next big Mice destination in Southeast Asia.
“This bid, bid, bid campaign will bring in volumes of tourists to the country,” he said.
Cebu is expected to reap high revenues from upcoming big ticket events in aviation this year.
Cebu will play host to the 2019 Routes Asia in March 10 to 12 and the Centre for Aviation Low Cost Carrier (Capa LCC) North Asia Summit in June 2019.
Another big event that other organizations are pushing for is the 2021 International Arnis Competition. The Cebu Association of Tour Guides is also bidding for Cebu’s hosting of the World Federation of Tour Guide Associations (WFTGA) International Convention in 2021.
Earlier, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat urged Cebu tourism industry players to make Mice the forefront of tourism marketing efforts, as this could become the “bread and butter” of Cebu’s tourism sector that will generate non-stop revenues.
Bernadette Jingco, a hospitality educator of the Republic Polytechnic in Singapore, likewise, urged stakeholders to step up its Mice offerings and services as countries like Vietnam and Thailand are stepping up their Mice initiatives.
“We need to concentrate on this market, because this is where the revenue is,” said Jingco, adding that a Mice delegate spends six times more than a regular tourist.