MICECon (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions Convention is the biggest and highly anticipated gathering of professionals in the fields of travel, tourism and MICE practitioners in the Philippines. It’s an educational event with high-caliber speakers, interesting topics and themed events.

For a city to win as host of a MICE convention, it’s a big deal. It can showcase the locale’s capacity to be a choice destination for MICE events.

Davao won the bid to host the 2020 MICECon. The pandemic struck in the same year and put the event on hold. Perhaps it was a blessing. It gave Davao the chance to plan for something bigger for Davao MICE going beyond the hosted event — it will be institutionalized.

Recently, the Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) led by GeneRose Tecson and the Davao MICE executive committee invited the city’s private stakeholders to be part of an exciting milestone — the turnover ceremony of the Davao City MICE Strategic Management Plan to the city by the University of Santo Tomas College of Tourism & Hospitality Management.

“Dreams do come true and today, we will all witness the turnover of Davao City MICE Strategic Management Plan. Something that we have always talked about with the Davao MICE Execom since 2016 and a reality now. The pandemic may have caused havoc to our businesses and the economy but with the guidance of Mayor Sara Duterte, we chose to look for opportunities that can be had from the experience. And together with the Davao MICE Execom, we determined that MICE is it,” said Gene Rose Tecson.

Developed through constant interaction between the UST project team, the Davao City government’s CTOO, MICE Execom, private stakeholders, Department of Tourism 11, and the Tourism Promotions Board’s MICE division, the Davao MICE Strategic Master Plan aims to assess, develop and implement the different MICE programs of the city government and the private sectors.

In her message, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte congratulated everyone involved for the completion of the document that will set the direction of the future of MICE industry that and contribute to the city’s socio-economic growth, “This plan shall be a guide for both policymakers and the private sector in identifying the key roles each needs to take, as well as crucial areas of convergence for a brighter future for MICE in Davao City. With this plan, we look forward to seeing more public and private tourism players and investors take bigger roles in our city’s MICE industry. This is vital as we position Davao City as the preferred MICE destination in the Philippines, and will help us fulfill our vision to become a globally livable city and a center of excellence in the investment, hospitality and tourism industries.”

Extending an inspiring message of gratitude on behalf of the UST College of Tourism and Hospitality Management team was its Regent, Fr. Roland Mactal, “Davao Life is here. Indeed this slogan is true. For what is life, in Latin it is defined as Vita est sui motio ab intrinsico, Life is growth from within. There is growth when we meet. There is growth when we encounter. This is what Davao MICE strategic planning is all about. Thus, it is a notable endeavor between the Davao local government and the UST College of Tourism & Hospitality Management. We thank you for the opportunity to collaborate and synergize with you in promoting the culture of oneness through MICE.”

Davao has achieved its target of 100 percent herd immunity. With health guidelines and protocols in place and full vaccination of 95 percent of the tourism frontliners, Davao is marching on to the new normal and ready to welcome visitors.

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