PHILIPPINE Senator Franklin Drilon sees the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) in Iloilo City as a potential attraction that could gather a higher tourist share.
Drilon said during the ICC's inauguration on Monday that in 2013, Western Visayas had 3.5 million domestic and foreign tourist arrivals, the highest among the 15 regions in the country.
Of the six provinces in the region, Iloilo had 20 percent share of tourist arrivals.
Drilon said the ICC follows the Philippine Convention Center in Manila as a world class convention center in the country.
Drilon said the structure is a testament of a leader's enough political will, saying: "In Iloilo, we have proven that there are no impossible dreams if political leader have the political will. There are no impossible dreams if the private sector and our people will stand in solidarity with us in the pursuit of our development goals."
President Benigno Aquino III led on Monday the inaugural rites of the ICC. [Read the related story here.]
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog earlier said the ICC is also expected to boost the local economy, tourism, and job-creating economic development for Western Visayas. [Read the related story here.]
Among the first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings scheduled at the center include the Small and Medium Enterprise ministerial meeting on September 21-25, the Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum on September 22-23, the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy and Related Meetings on September 28 to October 6, 2015.
The center has a capacity of more than 3,700 guests and the ground floor accommodates the main convention hall and the second floor with seven function rooms at 80 guests capacity per room and a museum and souvenir shop.