Ease of doing business attract mice activities

Ease of doing business attract mice activities
PERKS. Alfred Reyes, president of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association, says more than the collaboration between private stakeholders and government, making it easy for Mice organizers to do business could help Cebu attract more Mice activities. / CCCI

THE ease of doing business plays a critical role in Cebu’s appeal to become the preferred destination for Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions), according to tourism stakeholders.

Alfred Reyes, president of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association, said more than the collaboration between private stakeholders and government, making it easy for Mice organizers to do business could help Cebu attract more Mice activities in the long run.

“We need to make doing business easy for them,” Reyes said during the Cebu Tourism Forum on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, at the Mactan Cebu International Airport. “We have to work as one because Cebu is a destination.”

Reyes said this could be in the form of incentives or support materials like a directory or a ready kit for organizers.

“For 500 guests, normally TBP offers to host a dinner. This is something that we can also propose. If TPB is giving this incentive what is also the country of the LGUs,” said Reyes, during the panel discussion in the afternoon. TPB is the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism.

Reyes mentioned the Southeast Asia Eras Tour of Taylor Swift being held only in Singapore as organizers were provided with incentives by the Singaporean Government.

“I believe these (incentives, ease of doing business) could make the destination sell,” he added.

Cleofe Albiso, managing director at Megaworld Hotels and Resorts, said Cebu has the right ingredients to lead the Mice space, especially now that hotel players are ramping up their investment in rooms, venues and even food and beverage.

Apart from the Covid-19 pandemic, which paused tourism activities, typhoon Odette, which hit Cebu in December 2021, further derailed the tourism rebound.

Since then, Albiso said, hoteliers have worked diligently to boost Cebu’s tourism and are now more than ready to host an increasing number of tourists, especially from the Mice market.

“We need to get the word out there that we are ready,” she said.

Albiso highlighted the upcoming development of the Mactan Expo Center, a Mice facility within Megaworld’s Mactan Newtown, which is poised to boost MICE activities on Mactan Island.

During the capsule laying ceremony in April, Kevin Tan, chief executive officer of Alliance Global Group Inc., announced that this new Mice facility will bid to host the Asean Summit in 2026. He emphasized that Cebu is the ideal venue for high-ranking Asean officials to experience both business and leisure.

The Department of Tourism is developing its Mice Roadmap intending to position the Philippines among the top 10 Mice destinations in the International Congress and Convention Association’s global ranking by 2030.

The roadmap targets Mice revenues to reach P25 billion (US$454.5 million) by 2030, with Mice arrivals projected to grow by three percent annually from 2020 to 2030.

Additionally, the DOT aims to expand usable exhibition space to 171,000 square meters by 2030, up from 71,000 square meters in 2017. / KOC

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