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MICECON ’23 seen lifting
Davao’s tourism industry

THE Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) is optimistic it will be able to attract 500 in-person delegates to this year’s Philippine MICE Conference (MICECON),  thereby raise the profile of a tourism destination in the south.

In a news statement, the TPB, the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), said MICECON will be held from March 1 to 3 at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City. MICECON is the largest gathering of Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) professionals in the country, offering  them opportunities for networking with both international and local MICE experts.

“We strongly believe and claim that Davao’s hosting of the MICECON will provide a tremendous boost to the city’s tourism industry and a huge step towards its own vision of making Davao a preferred MICE destination, not only in the Philippines, but in Asia,” said TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Margarita Montemayor Nograles, who also hails from the city.

“That is why we are very excited to make this happen with the ardent support of the City Government of Davao, under Mayor Sebastian Duterte, who recognizes the massive role that MICE tourism could play not only for Davao as the host city, but it will also contribute a direct positive impact to our country’s economic returns,” she added. This will be the first in-person MICECON since the pandemic, according to TPB’s department manager for MICE Arnold T. Gonzales.

Davao City actually won the bid to host MICECON 2020, but didn’t push through because of the pandemic. Instead, an online MICECON was hosted by TPB in October that year, which attracted 1,331 virtual delegates.

SMXCC Davao, the premier MICE venue in the city, reported hosting a total of 1,700 medium- to large-scale events from 2013 to 2019, or an average of 300 events per year, pre-pandemic.

The Philippines aims to be a leading destination for MICE events in the Asia-Pacific region by 2030.

The local government of Davao City and TPB signed a memorandum of agreement in late December for the city’s hosting of this year’s MICECON. Vice Mayor Jay Melchor B. Quitain Jr. then expressed the city’s appreciation for being selected to host the event. “MICE events are a great help to the tourism industry here in Davao, that is why it is an always a pleasure and honor for us to host MICECON. We believe that MICECON will help revitalize the Davao’s tourism sector and open more doors for business that will boost the whole region’s economic growth,” he said.

Data from the DOT showed tourist arrivals in the Davao region reached some 5.22 million in 2019, but plunged to 1.39 million a year later as government imposed both domestic and international travel restrictions due to the Covid pandemic.

Present during the MOA signing were Nograles, Quitain Jr. on behalf of  Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte, MICECON 2023 Davao Organizing Co-Chair Kennedy V. Kapulong, and TPB’s Gonzales, who is also the Conference Convenor of Philippine MICECON.

The DOT is currently finalizing a strategic action plan to reach the targets drawn up under its MICE Roadmap 2030, among which is to be able to generate P25 billion in revenue from the sector by that year. (See, “PHL aims to earn P25B from MICE hostings,” in the BusinessMirror, December 27, 2022.)

Interested delegates to the MICECON 2023 may register through https://www.micecon.ph/preregistration/

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