Mice­con big con­tri­bu­tion in tourism in­dus­try in Ba­colod

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories - BY MERLINDA A. PEDROSA

DEPART­MENT of Tourism (DOT)-6 di­rec­tor He­len Katal­bas said yes­ter­day the Meet­ings, In­cen­tives, Con­ven­tions and Ex­hi­bi­tions-con­fer­ence (Mice­con) has a big con­tri­bu­tion to the tourism in­dus­try in Ba­colod City.

“There’s tourist ar­rivals or del­e­gates here that de­liv­ered a big con­tri­bu­tion in the city’s tourism in­dus­try,” Katal­bas said.

This year, Ba­colod has been cho­sen as the host of the ma­jor con­ven­tion the 6th edi­tion of the Philip­pine Mice­con, which was or­ga­nized by the Tourism Pro­mo­tions Board (TPB).

The event was at­tended by about 500 par­tic­i­pants from ho­tels, re­sorts, air­lines, events and con­ven­tions in­dus­tries in the coun­try from Novem­ber 27 to 29.

Katal­bas said the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units and pri­vate sec­tor were taught how to han­dle big­time and up-to-date Mice ac­tiv­i­ties to level up the city’s ex­per­tise as well as the Re­gion-6 as a whole to be a Mice des­ti­na­tion.

“Be­cause the na­ture of Mice a Meet­ings, In­cen­tives, Con­ven­tions, a high spend­ing, long-stay­ing and op­ti­mal ex­pe­ri­ence that were ex­posed to the del­e­gates which at the end, the high­lights was the tourist des­ti­na­tion in Ba­colod City, Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal and Re­gion 6,” she said.

She added that af­ter Bo­ra­cay, Ba­colod and Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal are sec­ond in terms of the num­ber of tourist ar­rival last year and the first half of 2018, as most vis­ited

by both for­eign and do­mes­tic tourists.

Katal­bas said that Ba­colod is com­plete with fa­cil­i­ties, the ser­vices are also avail­able, the cul­ture of the peo­ple, and the del­i­ca­cies it has what it takes to be a ma­jor tourist des­ti­na­tion in the coun­try.

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 aimed 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.

Marie Venus Tan, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of TPB, ear­lier said that tourism is the most in­clu­sive in­dus­try in the world to­day.

She said tourism touches all sec­tors, a di­rect in­fu­sion to the econ­omy, and Ba­colod and Ne­gros had beau­ti­ful des­ti­na­tions and land­scape.

On a scale on one to 10, Katal­bas rated Ba­colod eight for the host­ing of Mice­con.

“I wouldn’t say we are per­fect, but I think we have de­liv­ered what is ex­pected, we can­not be per­fect be­cause there’s a lot of fac­tors,” Katal­bas said.

In or­der to im­prove the city’s tourism, Katal­bas said that Ba­colod need more tour guides and the DOT-6 is not stop­ping for hold­ing train­ing for tour guides.

“If we have to at­tract more events and Mice ac­tiv­i­ties, we have to have more rooms. I think Ba­colod is on its way, it has build­ing boom on go­ing right now and with more in­vestors, we are there al­ready, but we have to work hard to­gether with the pri­vate sec­tor, na­tional gov­ern­ment and the com­mu­nity as a whole,” she said.

Coun­cilor Em Ang, chair­per­son of the City Coun­cil com­mit­tee on tourism, said “we are happy and thank­ful be­cause con­sid­er­ing the fact that we have very lit­tle time to pre­pare which were for just two months and the del­e­gates seems sat­is­fied with how the city hosted like what Katal­bas has said that it’s not per­fect, but I think for first timer we did very well,” she said.

She added that given the lim­ited re­sources and time, the city was able to host the con­fer­ence suc­cess­fully.

Mean­while, Ang also agreed that Ba­colod is lack of ac­cred­ited tour guide.

“If we have to com­pete with other LGUS and des­ti­na­tions, we also have to scale-up the man­power as well and at the same time the hu­man re­source,” Ang said.

She said they also need the co­op­er­a­tion the pri­vate sec­tor for the suc­cess of the city’s events.*

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