Currently handling both leisure and business events, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) has recommended having a separate agency solely for the latter to take better care of this growing inbound segment.
Sources told TTGmice that as the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism (DoT), TPB’s budget and staff limitations mean shortchanging business events. For example, out of TPB’s 150 staff, only 17 are assigned to business events and they have to scrounge for budget unlike some of their counterparts in Asia which get fat funding directly from the presidential office.
Philippine International Convention Center in Manila
Having a separate agency for business events will mean a return to the old days when there was the Philippine Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB) before it became TPB.
However, sources said it would take a “long time” as it would require legislation but as a short term measure, TPB will have “additional manpower” for handling business events.
Vilma De Claro Mendoza, president of Mart Evers Travel and Tours, favours having a CVB given the “insufficient planning and promotions” for business events, especially since such gatherings require advanced preparations of six months to a year.
Agreeing, Gaurav Rai, general manager of Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria and Holiday Inn Manila Galleria, said the presence of a Philippine CVB would bring about a “more focused and tactical” approach to business events.
“It’s time for (business events) to have its own budget and resources”, said Rai, adding that other countries have been able to attraction large-scale events because of CVB support.