Last year, the Philippines’ GDP recorded its fastest GDP growth
(7.6%) in over four decades, and its events industry is seeking to
benefit from what independent business analysts have described as a
“resurgence of in-person events”.
A recent report, ‘Riding the Momentum’ by property specialist
Colliers Philippines, notes that hotel occupancy rose dramatically as
the country put aside pandemic restrictions, rising from 20% in 2020 to
44% in 2021 and then 51% in 2022. The analysts noted that a key factor
was “the surge in MICE activities”.
The research report says: “In 2023, we project average hotel
occupancy in Metro Manila to breach 60% due to the influx of more
foreign visitors and continued growth from the local staycation market.
We also see the resurgence of in-person events lifting the demand for
MICE facilities and business hotels.”
These projections would appear to bolster the confidence expressed by
leading figures in the country’s tourism industry and MICE sector.
Maria Margarita Montemayor Nograles, COO of Tourism Promotions Board
(TPB), speaking at the recent MICECON event, the country’s premier
meetings and incentives industry gathering held in Davao, Mindanao,
said: “We speak of creating legacy as the MICE industry is crucial in
contributing to the economic growth of both global and local economies
creating employment opportunities and building the country's reputation.
"Our industry offers a diverse range of opportunities and experiences
each of them unique and creative. This emphasises the importance of
knowledge and expertise and best practices in an industry that is
The TPB is also celebrating Manila's successful bid as the host of
Rotary International's annual convention in June 2028, which is set to
bring in 25,000 participants from across the world.
Gonzales, head of the TPB’s MICE department, said the board had
extended support to the key stakeholders to help win the bid. He also
said there was a renewed focus on corporate incentives. “The Philippines
is basically an excellent incentive destination and Filipinos are very
creative in incentive programmes, although, of course, we are promoting
the Philippines as a general MICE destination. However, the new trend is
going for smaller meetings.”
Philippines already offers organisers tremendous value for money in
accommodation bookings and the projected figure of 60% occupancy allows
reasonable leeway for negotiation. Even better news are on the horizon,
with major international hotel brands expanding and adding substantially
new inventory for rooms and event spaces in the country.
Accor, the leading international operator in the Philippines with 10
hotels, resorts and branded residences, currently has a projected
pipeline of 16 hotels scheduled to open within the next five years. The
hotel chain recently announced a second MGallery property at the South
Palms Resort Panglao Bohol, due to open next year.
Longer term, the major game changer for the country is the projected
opening of New Manila International Airport in 2027. The new airport
located in Bulacan province, 35km north of the capital, will be built
with dedicated transport links to Metro Manila and beyond.
The new Bulacan airport will have a fully annual operational capacity
of 200 million passengers and four runways. The existing Ninoy Aquino
International Airport (NAIA), on the other hand, has only two runways
and its four terminals handled around 66 million departures in 2022.
Gonzales believes these infrastructure developments, particularly
hotels and airports, will underpin the Philippines MICE sector’s