To help position the Philippines not only as a top tourist destination but also as a premier venue for meetings, incentives, conventions, events, and exhibits (MICE), the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), marketing arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), is set to tap into the Chinese MICE market through the annual Incentive Travel and Conventions, Meetings (IT&CM). To be held in Shanghai on March 19 to 21, 2019, IT&CM is the only MICE trade fair in Shanghai and Eastern China, making it China’s largest gathering of MICE professionals.
Delegates from the Philippines will include TPB representatives and ten Philippine co-exhibitors from different MICE industries: hotel and restaurant, travel agencies, tour operators, convention venues, and incentive houses. IT&CM is a great opportunity to expand the delegates’ business and networking capabilities through a series of MICE-related functions and tours.
The trade fair also serves as a platform to further promote Philippine MICE capabilities in China. In fact, as the positive bilateral relationship between the Philippines and China continues to grow, Chinese organizers’ interest in the Philippines as a preferred MICE destination is also piqued.
In last year’s IT&CM, the Philippine delegation met a significant number of Chinese investors through MICE Sales Presentation organized by the DOT-Shanghai office and the pre-scheduled business-to-business appointments at the IT&CM China Show. Out of the 320 appointments made by TPB representatives and private sector partners who participated in the event, good business leads were secured, which heaped millions of revenues for the country.
The materialization of these business leads also contributed to the increase of Chinese tourists. In 2018, China came second in the list of top tourism markets, with 1.2M Chinese tourist arrivals in the country. The number of tourist arrivals is expected to grow as the country continues to boost its MICE venues.
From international and regional meetings, conferences, conventions, and congresses, the Philippines has hosted a series of MICE events for years since the establishment of Southeast Asia’s first full-fledged convention center, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). Hotels, convention centers, and special events venues are continuously being constructed across the archipelago, spurred by the strong demand for new rooms and facilities.
TPB’s participation in the IT&CM aims to create more awareness to these state-of-the-art facilities available in the country and foster individual partnership between Chinese MICE agents and tour operators, and Philippine private sector participants. By joining IT&CM, Philippine MICE industry can attract more Chinese tourists to experience why it’s more fun in the Philippines.