TACLOBAN CITY – Eastern Visayas will be aggressively promoted and marketed next year as one of the top destinations for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions and events (MICE-E).

Representatives from local government units, accommodation facilities, tour operators, service providers, transport operators, event organizers are among those who were invited to a two-day training organized by the regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT). – 8 in Palo town, Leyte.

The region has identified three MICE circuits- the Tacloban-Palo circuit and Ormoc-Baybay circuit, all in Leyte province; and the Catbalogan-Calbayog circuit located in Samar province as top destinations for MICE activities.

These areas were identified for MICE because of their existing facilities like convention centers and accommodation facilities.

Karina Rosa Tiopes, tourism regional director, said that while the region is moving toward promotion for MICE, organizers should not focus on hosting large events but rather medium-sized ones as the region still have no facilities that can accommodate a large number of people.

“Whatever we lack in terms of facilities we can compensate or even surpass in terms of experience, expectation of our guests through the kind of service that we have,” she said.
Tiopes also called on the participants to start working together and stop treating others as competitors as it reflects to the image of the region.

“We have to work harmoniously, we have to reach out to each other because this is the only way that we can put MICE at the forefront,” Tiopes stressed.

Tiopes added that bringing MICE activities in the region is a good start for tourism recovery as it bring in more people in a single event rather than waiting for tourists to come, which is seasonal.

Tiopes also informed the participants that as early as the first quarter of 2023, the region will be hosting several MICE activities, that includes national conventions, business conferences, and travel fairs.

Meanwhile, Philippine Exhibition and Trade Corporation (PETCO) president Marisa Nallana encouraged local government units who are participating the training to start doing inventory of their facilities.

Nallana said that it will be hard for them to promote the region as venue for MICE activities if they do not know what are the existing facilities the region has, the number of accommodation facilities, and the services being offered. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)