FAST-BECOMING a major Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions (Mice) destination in the country, Davao City for this year and beyond will continue to bring in more national and international conventions which will lead to the city’s more vibrant and booming tourism industry.
The city's position as a preferred Mice destination is further strengthened as lineup of national and international conventions are already scheduled in the city this year until next year.
“With the major conventions, Davao is now one of the preferred destinations for Mice and this is a major driver for the growth of our tourism industry," Roberto Alabado III, Department of Tourism 11 director said adding that the city has now a conventional center to cater different events such as the SMX-Convention Center.
Having three function rooms and five meeting rooms, totaling 5,200 square meters of leasable space, SMX Davao can accommodate a total of 5,550 of audience. The convention center is dubbed as the largest and first privately-owned and managed convention and exhibition center in the southern part of the Philippines.
The increasing awareness among national and international organizers of various meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (Mice) about Davao City resulted to the influx of visitors.
According to DOT data, of Davao Region's 1,874,587 tourist arrivals from January to September 2015, most of the tourists were reported in Davao City with 1,290,480 or 69 percent of the region's tourist arrivals.
"We can attribute the increasing tourist arrivals to the campaign of enabling Davao City as a Mice destination," Roberto P. Alabado III said.
He added that a lot of the conventions that were not held here before were already staged in Davao City because convention centers in the city is capable of holding national and international conventions.
To further position Davao as a Mice destination, the tourism department will continue the Mice strategy. DOT is planning to stage more Mice road shows which will be vital to introduce the city, emphasizing Davao's unique offering of Mice incentives to various organizers who intend to hold their conventions in the city.
As this early, Davao City Mice stakeholders are gearing up for some of the conventions that will be hosted here including the international convention dubbed as the Asian Raptor Conference on October 2017 which is projected to gather 200 foreign guests.
Other lined-up conventions and events are the UHS Essential Health Phils. Inc. Assembly on March 16, Philippine Association of Civil Registrars National Convention on April 5, Phil. League of Government and Private Midwives 17th National Convention on April 20 and Daughters of Mary Immaculate International Conference on April 23 to 24, among others.
Just last month, the national convention of the Philippine Veterinarian Medical Association (PVMA) was held in the city drawing some 1,500 participants from all over the country.
Lisette Marques, city tourism operations officer, for her part said that they are targeting a 10 percent increase in tourist arrivals in the city for this year.
“We are positive to attain this since last year there has been an increasing awareness among national and international organizers of Mice about Davao City which can really contribute to the influx of visitors,” she said.
Also, the tourism department is now finalizing partnership from airlines partners to give Mice participants special fare discounts.
Indeed, Davao as a “most-preferred” Mice destination in the country has brighter prospects for 2016 onward.