TACLOBAN CITY – Marketing remains to be the most challenging part of promoting Eastern Visayas tourism industry.

Unlike other regions in the Visayas that are already popular among domestic and international tourists, Eastern Visayas although blessed with beautiful natural tourist destinations, is still looking for ways to make a mark in the tourism stage of the country.
One of the best ways to market the region is to encourage more MICE gatherings in the region that bring in large number of people, according to a travel and tour operator from Leyte province.

MICE means meeting, incentives, conventions/conferences, and events.
During the launching of their outbound product, IM Travel Corporation owner Rochelle Alfonso said that 2023 was the busiest year for travel and tour operators in the province due to the number of MICE gatherings that brought not only a hundred but more than a thousand participants.

Among the MICE events held in 2023 were the PESO convention, and the JCI national convention.

“For 2024 let us continue our MICE tourism, because it is in group. Because it is by group, it has a lot of participants who by the power of mouth can promote and market how beautiful our region is to their relatives and friends,” Alfonso said.

Alfonso added that MICE participants are not only visiting the region to attend their activities but they also allocate time to visit some of the region’s tourist destinations which is good for marketing.

Alfonso added that unlike Bohol and Cebu, the region has still a long way to go when it comes to marketing which is why encouraging more MICE events to be held in Eastern Visayas will greatly help boost the local tourism industry.

Alfonso added that the new product of their company offering an outbound travel to countries in Asia and Europe is also a way that they can promote the region to the international market.

She hopes that marketing and promoting the region will not only be done by travel and tour operators and the Department of Tourism (DOT) but also by local government units.
The signing of contract with Miss Universe Philippines-Leyte 2023 Angel Rose Tambal, The Miss Philippines – Leyte Jamby Belegorio, and Miss Universe Philippines – Leyte 1st Runner-up Trisha Gabrielle Moreto who will act as the official tourism ambassador of the company is also viewed to help in promoting and marketing the region more especially among their social media followers.

DOT8 Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, in a previous interview, admitted that one of the weaknesses of the region’s tourism industry is marketing.

“Marketing is not only a task of a tourism enterprise, it’s not only a task of DOT, not only a task of the LGU, but we should have a concerted effort to work and going towards one direction, we should have one brand that speaks about us, and identify us, making us different from other destinations and we should communicate this properly to our target market,” Tiopes said.