City gov’t taps firm to create Iloilo City brand

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

The city government sees the need to create a brand for Iloilo City as part of efforts to bolster the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitors (MICE) tourism campaign of the metro.

According to Mayor Jerry Treñas, the city government should complement the efforts of the Department of Tourism (DOT) 6 to promote the city as a premiere MICE destination.

“At the moment, we are pushing for Iloilo to be a strong MICE Destination and if we strengthen the brand of Iloilo, it will complement the efforts of all of the efforts of DOT to promote Iloilo. We will do our share as the LGU, we will use our funds,” he said.

The mayor emphasized that the city should have its own branding so that it has something to offer to guests and visitors aside from MICE tourism.

“Aside from MICE, what’s there for other visitors because if we only talk about MICE, we only talk about two to three days and if we cannot get them to bring their family with them, that will only be a limited number of delegates,” Treñas said.

The city government tapped the experts and professionals to help with the city’s branding.

On Thursday, Treñas welcomed IPG Mediabrands Philippines at the Iloilo City Hall. The firm visited the city as part of their study and immersion.

IPG will come up with a proposal for Iloilo City’s branding and will be subject to the city government’s bidding process.

IPG Mediabrands Philippines CEO Venus Navalta said Iloilo City has so much to offer because of its rich culture, unique food, vibrant art community, and the world-famous Dinagyang festival.

“And then the culture of Iloilo is very rich, aside from food you have culture and aside from that you are also a gateway to all destinations so there so much more that Iloilo can offer,” she said.

Navalta said their goal is to bring tourists in Iloilo City year-round and to get MICE attendees to extend their stay in the city.

“We’re here to study and to have immersion on what Iloilo can offer on its tourism segments, we know that you have Dinagyang and half of tourist arrivals come from Dinagyang but you don’t want tourist to come only in Dinagyang, you have to make them come for the whole year to be a successful brand,” she stressed.

The mayor said the proposal of IPG and other interested firms will be subjected to competitive bidding process.

Meanwhile, Navalta hailed the city for being the first LGU to consult a professional firm for branding efforts.

“You are the first local government to come and consult a professional. Normally we do this for brands and of course for some politicians and some celebrities, but I am very happy to see that you are very progressive in your thinking and you are consulting professionals to come and see how we can work together. If this is how, all Filipino mayors, congressmen, and politicians think then the Philippines would really go up and progress,” she stressed.

Navalta said IPG can help Iloilo City become a model for other LGUs when it comes to branding.

“In this country, wala pang gumagawa nun, so we are very proud to have you and partner with you, we are confident you can be successful and you can be a model city and hopefully, other model cities will follow and create branding for themselves,” she added.