BUSINESS IN THE TROPICS
THINKING of taking your business event somewhere warmer? For something unique, try the Philippines. The archipelago of more than 7,000 islands is equiped with meeting spaces, luxury hotels and a lush, tropical environment. The county’s capital, Manila, is home to the country’s convention showpiece, The Philippine International Convention Center, and is no stranger to hosting significant international events. Business events are by no means restricted to the capital with many other cities, towns and islands providing beautiful and engaging settings. Delegates will no doubt feel comfortable in the Philippines with the locals renowned for their warm and welcoming nature and sense of fun. If you time your trip right, you can even catch one of the nation’s famous festivals. Some top picks on where to host your event follow. They feature some great meeting spaces and accommodation for those attending along with the opportunity for ample recreational activities.
Experience a conference in The Philippines oldest city, Cebu, in one of the area’s luxurious resorts. The Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino is a good option with a ballroom that seats 3,200 guests. Cebu is a city that loves to celebrate so look out for the annual itinerary of fiestas. January when the colourful Sinulog Festival takes place is one of the best months to organise an event in the city. The celebrations incorporate street dancing, bands, fireworks and a Mardi Gras parade. Year round Cebu is great for soaking up some of country’s iconic heritage spots or taking a day trip to one of the surrounding waterfalls.
Manila’s luxury resort and casino complex City of Dreams has put the city on the world stage as a business events location. Sprawling across more than six hectares near the shores of Manila Bay, the complex is made up of The Hyatt, Nobu Hotel and The Crown Towers branded hotels offering 1,000 luxury guest rooms between them. The Hyatt is ideal for business incentives with meeting facilities for up to 500 people along with an interactive show-kitchen restaurant open 24 hours. The complex offers live entertainment, night clubs and a high class shopping mall.
For blissful surroundings try Boracay Island. It may only be 10 square kilometres but there’s plenty of space for events. One option is the Shangri-la’s Boracay Resort and Spa with its elegant 400 square metre ballroom and several function rooms. Get the attendees’ blood pumping with a parasailing experience flying high above a speed boat or bring out the inner child and hop on top of a giant inflatable fish and get pulled along by a speed boat, hold on, it can get bumpy! TAGAYTAY
Host your event 2,000 feet above ground level taking in scenic views and misty mountain peaks. The Tagaytay International Convention Center is an ideal base for events, while the area offers ample choice in leisure activities. Experience Tagaytay on horseback-riding or by hiking the mountains. A day tour of the famous Taal volcano can be organised starting at the Palace in the Sky – the unfinished mansion of former President Ferdinand Marcos. Also known as ‘The People’s Park in the Sky’ this spot is an absolute must to drink up the best views of the Taal Lake and volcano.
Hyatt, City of Dreams Sinulog festival (©Constantine Augustine) Boraacay Tagaytay (©Gert Mewes)