‘Bacolod taking lead in tourism, Negros will progress’
“TOURISM is the most inclusive industry in the world today. ”
This was stressed by Marie Venus Tan, chief operating officer of Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), during the opening of the 6th edition of the Philippine Meetings, Incen- tives, Conventions and Exhibitions-conference (Micecon) at SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City.
Tan said tourism touches all sectors, a direct infusion to the economy.
“We cannot underscore enough the importance of the industry in our economy. I cannot underscore enough the importance of having leadership convincing that the tourism industry will bring economic progress,” she added.
Tan noted that she was a regional director of the Department of Tourism
Cordillera (DOT-CAR) and she knows how it is and how difficult it is to be able to convince if the local government units are not in the same page anymore.
“This is Bacolod and I think that leadership is taking the lead. Bacolod and the rest of Negros will really progress as far as tourism is concern,” Tan said.
She said Bacolod and Negros had beautiful destinations and landscape.
She added TPB partners with various local government units to bring about an institutional level of cooperation, establishing a steadfast partnership between the public and private sectors in aid of propelling the Philippines as Southeast Asia’s premier Mice destination.
Micecon 2018, which was organized by TPB, was attended by about 500 participants from hotels, resorts, airlines, events and conventions industries in the country.
Also present were Assistant Secretary for Tourism Development Planning Roberto Alabado, Department of Tourism-6 director Helen Katalbas, Councilor Em Ang and City Administrator John Orola.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said he is thankful for TPB and DOT for bringing the Micecon to Bacolod, thus, making it part of the city’s charter anniversary celebration, its 80th year this 2018.
The mayor said the tourism sector has been undergoing changes brought by the evolution of the internet and digital media.
“It is worth looking back on how the travel industry has changed over the past few years, not only here in Bacolod but globally,” he added.
To keep pace with the fast changing needs of travellers and challenges faced by the tourism industry, local government has to act swiftly and adjust its strategies for tourism development, the mayor said.
“We need to map out our initiatives and resources allocation, taking into account various factors such as the global economic conditions and market trends, travelling patterns and preferences as well as Bacolod’s tourism offerings. This year, our emphasis is to develop more new tourism products to differentiate Bacolod from other destinations,” Leonardia said.
To signify the importance, he said, they attach to the tourism industry, they will invest in a number of tourism-related developments and they shall strive to enhance the quality of tourism infrastructure on various fronts.
He added the construction for the P65 million museum and auditorium, which is courtesy of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, will start in the next few months.
The mayor pointed out it will be a state-of-the-art, iconic building and the very first green government building in the province, if not in the region.
The city will also build a coliseum that can hold an audience of 12,000 people.
“We believe that the new measures will further enhance the tourism appeal of Bacolod and establish our position as a premier Mice destination. We are also confident that the completion of this infrastructure and facilities will improve our attractiveness and competitiveness in attracting more people to visit Bacolod for business and pleasure,” Leonardia said.
He said tourism is one of the city’s economic drivers, other than BPO-ICT. The growth of the tourism industry is a phenomenon that hits much closer to the most basic needs of the people.
Micecon consolidates and strengthens all sectors involved in the Mice industry by providing an ideal platform for a comprehensive educational program and trade opportunity for the Philippine Mice and tourism practitioners.
It also aims to showcase new developments, establishments, and products in the host city and increase the levels of creativity and professionalism and further upgrade capabilities of the host city in targeting and handling the Mice market.
Meanwhile, Micecon speakers are Ami Valdemoro, board director of My Shelter Foundation and Liter of Light; Sophie Metler, head international partnership of Make a Difference (MAD) Travel; Susan Sarfati, CEO of High Performance Strategies; Liz Jackson, CEO of High Performance Strategies; Jerry Sibal, world-renowned event designer and florist; Tyler Enslin, owner and keynote speaker of Tyler Enslin International; Tina Altieri, broadcaster and consultant/trainer; KF Seetoh, founder of Makansutra; Anthony Diaz, founder and creator of Our Awesome Planet; Thomas Gray, business development manager of Asia Pacific Events Air; Grace Gayoso, motivational speaker; Charise Mason, founder/managing director of Digichic Integrated Marketing; Karun Budhraja, vice president of Corporate Marketing and Communications People and Culture; Peng Ee Ooi, general manager of Global Commerce, TTG Asia; Jason Yeh, founder and CEO of GIS Group; Jane Vomg Holmes, senior manager-asia of Gaining Edge (Australia); and Scott Freidman, motivational humorist and chief celebration officer.
The event will end today with a farewell dinner at 7 p.m. at the Ruins, Talisay City.*
BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia (3rd from left) and Tourism Promotions Board chief operating officer Marie Venus Tan (3rd from right), with (from left) Councilor Em Ang, Department of Tourism-6 director Helen Katalbas, City Administrator John Orola, and DOT assistant secretary Roberto Alabado III, led the opening ceremony for the Micecon 2018 at SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City Wednesday.
NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. (right) leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opening of the 13th Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival yesterday at the Capitol grounds, with Soil and Organic Movement Inc. CEO Rei Yoon, Eric Drake Weinert Jr. of Natural Farming Hawaii, Richard Hughes of Nisard, Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena, Jerry Dionson of the National Organic Agri Board, and Merceditas Montilla.