Philippines gears up for global MICE push

Manila is ready to host the WTTC event; Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila, pictured

The Philippines is gearing up to launch its first-ever global MICE campaign, to promote and continue its development of the country as a top international business events destination as borders reopen.

This comes on the heels of the Tourism Promotions Board’s (TPB) teams having initiated talks with professional medical and wellness associations, some of which already have events calendered, shared Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, TPB’s chief operating officer, at a recent media briefing.

Manila is ready to host the WTTC event; Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila, pictured

Confirmed events include the 21st Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in Manila, as well as the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in Subic which will set sail in March after its original schedule in 2020 was disrupted by the pandemic. The yachts have been left in Subic Bay Yacht Club but organisers and race crew are set to return to the Philippines next month.

Travel trade stakeholders welcome the business events push, a key driver for the tourism sector, and one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.

Matt Poonin, general manager of Travelite Travel and Tours, said the global campaign is a “good opportunity” to promote the country, and with the WTTC hosting, all eyes will also be on how the Philippines can hold the event safely while the pandemic is still ongoing.

“TPB has also identified several MICE destinations like Manila, Clark, Cebu, Boracay, Bohol and Davao (which will help kick off global promotions). MICEConnect 2021, held in Boracay last November, is proof to local and international organisers that we are ready to deal with the volume of arrivals,” Poonin stressed.

He added that health and safety protocols, to safeguard the welfare of visitors, will be top priority.

Bernadette de Leon, general manager of Amiable Intertours, concurred, stating her eagerness to welcome visitors to Philippine shores again. She shared that her company will be fine-tuning health protocols to ensure that they adhere to standards set by the World Health Organization.

De Leon added that the tourism pause for the last two years has a silver lining, where the Philippines has taken the opportunity to improve on and add to its business events hardware, as well as recalibrate the country’s MICE Roadmap.

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