Iloilo City to play host to DOT expo

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

Iloilo City is set to host the 2023 Central Philippines Tourism Expo (CPTEx) from June 16 to 18. The three-day expo, held at the Iloilo Convention Center, will showcase tourist and cultural offerings from the CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas regions.

The event will feature 32 exhibitors in 46 booths, including regular booths, island pavilions, and grand pavilions representing the host regions. The expo will kick off with a Festivals Parade at the Iloilo Business Park, showcasing different festivals and traditions from the featured regions.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) will also launch its Bisita Be My (BBM) Guest incentives program during the expo, unveiling its theme song and dance. A Business-to-Business (B2B) program will connect tourism-related enterprises from the different regions.

The CPTEx is organized by the DOT in partnership with the Iloilo Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) Alliance. It is the final part of a three-part travel expo series by the DOT, following the Northern Philippines Tourism Expo in 2022 and the Mindanao Tourism Expo earlier this year.

The event is expected to attract up to 1,500 visitors daily. Aside from the six host regions, other DOT regional offices will also participate to showcase their own tourism destinations and products. The expo provides an opportunity for Iloilo City to highlight itself as a premier MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions) hub.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco, whose pet project is maximizing promotions and diversifying tourism products in the country, is scheduled to give a keynote speech on the last day. Undersecretary and Region VII Director Shalimar Tamano will represent her on the first day.

The event is organized in partnership with the Iloilo City Government, Iloilo Provincial Government, Festive Walk Iloilo, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, Southwest Tours Boracay, Megaworld Business Park, Borough Lasik Center, Biscocho Haus, Standard Insurance, Hotel Del Rio, and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, Iloilo Chapter.