Philippines to make Iloilo a priority tourism area for conventions

Sustainable urban development, delectable local recipes and rich cultural heritage a ‘perfect recipe’ for international MICE hub, says tourism secretary

ezxiloilo221019Iloilo has rich cultural heritage.

ILOILO - The Philippines' Department of Tourism (DOT) is looking to promote Iloilo City as a world-class destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE).

From its sustainable urban development, delectable local recipes and rich cultural heritage, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the city had the "perfect recipe" for success to become an international MICE tourism hub, according to local media reports.

"This makes Iloilo City a priority tourism area which meets the global standards for MICE growth and, as it has become more competitive, causes a ripple effect that makes it a truly inclusive tourism development," Ms Puyat was reported as saying on GMA News Online as she launched the campaign "Meet you in Iloilo" at the Iloilo Convention Center.

Senator Franklin Drilon, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Trenas, Iloilo Province Governor Arthur Defensor Jr., DOT Undersecretary Arturo Bpncato Jr. and Pocholo Paragas, Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), DOT's infrastructure arm also attended the launch.

Mr Paragas said there are several projects in the works to help boost Iloilo's sustainable tourism development program. They include support for the rehabilitation of the fabled Iloilo River and the Aduana or Old Customs Building and the completion of the 8km-Esplanade.

Ilonggo Senator Drilon also said the city's success will benefit other Western Visayas provinces, especially Guimaras.

Mr Trenas believes Iloilo has the potential after successfully hosting the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation ( APEC) and the ASEAN ministerial meetings in 2017.

"Being a premier MICE destination, we cannot deny that Iloilo City has (grown considerably) as a tourist destination," the mayor said.

The MICE campaign will culminate in January 2020 during the Dinagyang Festival.

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