MICE Center to propel tourism thrust

Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Salvador Sarabia Jr.

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THE Iloilo City government created a body that will propel its campaign on Meetings, Incentives, Travel, Conference, Convention, Exhibitions, Events (MICE) tourism.

Executive Order (EO) 34 issued on July 29, 2019 by Mayor Jerry Treñas created the MICE center and appointed former Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Salvador Sarabia Jr. as its director.

Sarabia is also the mayor’s Executive Assistant for MICE promotions.

According to Sarabia, the plans, programs, and activities of the center will be geared towards promoting the city as the newest MICE destination.

“With all of its facilities, we will promote Iloilo City as the newest and a complete MICE destination in the whole country,” he said.

Sarabia said the center is now preparing its major activity on Sept 4-6, 2019 which is a workshop for all tourism stakeholders in the metro.

The workshop will include restaurant and business owners, business groups, academe and even barangay captains in the city, he added.

“We would like to have an inclusive development. Ang aton plano ni mayor, involve ta gid ang community because tourism should not be looked into something that is above the line,” Sarabia stressed.

During the workshop, a MICE Promotion Development Plan will be crafted to serve as a roadmap and a strategy to effectively promote the city.

“It will be a roadmap of rural-urban connectivity for sustainable and inclusive development of Iloilo City is the expected result, enabling the city to achieve its mission as a MICE destination,” Sarabia said.

He added that the workshop is supported by the institutions of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as the University of the Philippines Visayas.

Recently, the three-year plan to promote Iloilo as a premiere MICE destination was presented to the local government officials. The plan was made possible through the help of the Department of Tourism (DOT)-6, private sectors and other government agencies.

An Iloilo MICE Alliance Core Group composed of representatives from various tourism sectors was also formed earlier this year to develop promotions, incentives, and related tourism packages for MICE.

Meanwhile, the MICE campaign for Iloilo will carry the tagline “Meet you in Iloilo” in a bid to promote Iloilo as “your next MICE Destination.” The campaign is targeted to be launched on Oct. 10, 2019.