Philippines takes a more serious, strategic look at business events

Bengzon: targeting large groups

The Philippines’ first business events roadmap will be unveiled in mid-December to address issues impeding its growth and challenges in positioning the country as a competitive destination.

Tourism undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said part of the deliverables is to have an extensive business events database which will identify the delegates’ length of stay, preferred destinations, expenses in and outside the conference hall, the kinds of activities they do, etc.

Bengzon: targeting large groups

Such information is lacking in the Philippines as business event trips are not captured in the arrival and departure cards of tourists, he explained.

TTGmice understands that the Department of Tourism’s marketing arm, Tourism Promotions Board, relies on statistics from ICCA which do not include government meetings, such as ASEAN-related meetings of which 283 have been hosted by the Philippines this year for 28,000 delegates.

Bengzon said the roadmap will also work on the supply side by addressing how the sector can bring in large groups of 5,000 to 10,000 participants.

The business events sector, one of the nine priority areas of the National Tourism Development Plan 2017-2022, is attracting mainly smaller and medium-sized events due to the limited capacity of convention centres and other event venues in the country.

It is also understood that the roadmap, which will be targeting an annual growth of 12 to 16 per cent, will provide the strategic direction so the benefits of business events will cascade to the grassroots and increase employment while encouraging investors to build more hotels, convention facilities and other necessary hardware.

Details of the roadmap is just being wrapped up, a joint endeavor of the Department of Tourism, Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers Inc. and government agencies including the Department of Trade and Industry through the Board of Investment and Commission on Higher Education.

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