Keeping an eye on the prize

The Philippines' tourism industry unveiled its "MICE Roadmap 2030," a programme to get the destination back on the global MICE map.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo led stakeholders at the launch of the programme, which was drawn up by the DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), in partnership with the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers Inc. (Paceos) and the state agency Board of Investments (BOI).

Teo said MICE Roadmap 2030 aims to put the country in the top 10 destinations of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). 

"By taking the lead in the development of the Philippines's MICE road map, we place ourselves within striking distance of our 2018 target for international tourist arrivals," she said.

The programme aims to increase the gross value added (GVA) of the MICE industry to US$28 million (P1.4 billion) in 2030 from US$8.3 million (P415.3 million) in 2013, raise the GVA of MICE to 0.01% of the GDP from 0.04% in 2013, improve the delegate expenditure per meeting to 19% by 2030, from 5.4% in 2016, and hike MICE revenues to US$500 million by 2030 from US$92 million in 2016.

The industry is also looking to increase the total number of usable space for exhibitions to over 170,895 square metres by 2030 from about 71,000 square metres in 2017, and an annual 3% increase in MICE arrivals.

Teo noted the country's successful hosting of events, such as the Madrid Fusion Manila, the Eight United Nations World Tourism Organization Congress on Tourism Statistics, the World Street Food Congress, Miss Universe beauty pageant, the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forums and last year's Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings "proves that we are on the right track, and we should continue to strike while the iron is hot."

"With this road map, we can reclaim our rightful place as a MICE powerhouse," DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr said. The Philippines ranked 48th out of 116 countries in the 2016 ICCA statistical report on country and city rankings.

Teo also assured Paceos that the government fully supported its efforts to boost the Philippines' reputation as an international event venue. The country was considered a MICE pioneer, starting with its hosting of the 1976 International Monetary Fund annual meeting.

The Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) was constructed for the event.

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