More tourism-related events expected this year: top exec

THE TOURISM industry in the city is attracting meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) as more events are expected to be held this year, an official of Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

Roberto Alabado III, regional director of DOT XI, said this month would be busy for the industry as the city will host the launching of the 50th anniversary of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Jan. 15.

The launching of Asean 50, Alabado said, is expected to gather about 1,000 delegates, including the senior officials and ministers of the association’s member countries, at SMX Davao Convention Center.

As the Philippines chairs the association this year, he said the city has been identified as among the venues where the meetings of senior officials would be conducted. The city would host five meetings while one senior officials’ meeting would be held at Island City Garden of Samal.

“These provide us more exposure,” Alabado said.

The city was also identified as among the side venues of the international pageant Miss Universe on Jan. 19, when there would be a Mindanao Tapestry Fashion Show at SMX Davao Convention Center.

Kennedy Capulong, president of MICE Davao, said there are also four events, with about 8,200 delegates combined, that would be conducted in the city this year as these have availed of incentives provided by MICE Davao.

MICE Davao was organized by DOT in partnership with the city government and airline companies such as AirAsia and Cebu Pacific. It has members from the tourism industry sector, including tour operators and hotel establishments.

The group is providing incentives in pursuit to make the city as MICE destination. The incentive package varies on how many delegates would attend in an event.

For instance, if there are 300-999 delegates, incentives include the use of DOT information centers at airport, airport reception, welcome kits and leis, assistance by City Tourism and Operations Office and special MICE accommodation rates from DOT-accredited hotels and resorts.

Incentives also include special MICE airline group rate from AirAsia and Cebu Pacific, incentive discount from Mabuhay Car Rentals, discounts from Abreeza and SM Lanang Premier, discount from wellness and spa centers that are members of Davao Wellness Association and discounts from participating stores of Pasalubong Center.

This year, Capulong said among those that already availed the incentives include Knights of Rizal Convention on Feb. 22-23, PAL Interclub Golf Tournament on Feb. 19-March 4, President’s Cup Football Tournament on April 8-9 and Asian Raptors Conservation Conference on Oct. 18-22.

“The Asian Raptors Conservation Conference is an international event that would gather 300 international delegates. It is organized by the Philippine Eagle Foundation,” Alabado said. (By Kristianne M. Fusilero)

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