DAVAO CITY- The MICE Convention 2023 (MICECON 2023) held from March 1-3 in Davao City was a huge success with top tourism officials praising the public and private sector collaboration.
“The milestones achieved by MICECON 2023 rests on the strengthened tourism governance collaboration between the various stakeholders of the private and public sector whom we all know exerted their best efforts to ensure the conference’s success,” Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said in her speech.
MICE which stand for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions is a type of tourism that specializes on MICE related activities and events.
MICECON 2023 is the largest gathering of MICE industry players in the country. This year’s conference had 670 delegates with 67 exhibitors.
The 3-day event is organized by the Tourism Promotions Board and the Davao Organizing Committee (DOC) made up of the government and private sector.
“The amazing turnout of MICECON 2023 is a testament to what we all can achieve and a testament when we work together Seeing the results of MICECON 2023 it is apparent that everyone responsible for putting this together left no stone unturned,” the Secretary said describing this year’ MICECON as one for the books and has having raise the bar for MICECON.
The three- day event was highlighted by plenary and break-out sessions with topics on tourism and MICE, workshops, tours, marketplace, themed dinners and the first Philippine MICE Youth Challenge.
TPB Chief Operating Officer Margarita Nograles said the MICECON in Davao just as MICE events in the country is a presentation of the Filipino creativity.
“This is what we are doing now we showcase and boast our creativity and our talents, and the past few days have shown that. This is a platform how creative the Filipino is,” Nograles said.
In an earlier interview Nograles, who is a Dabawenya said she wants to ensure that the MICECON in Davao City will be the best MICECON ever.
“These are the biggest MICE players coming to Davao, so it is very important for us to put our best foot forward for if they will see the potential they will keep coming back,” Nograles said.
Cherry Al-ag, president of the Davao Tourism Association, which represents the private sector in the city’s tourism industry said that Davao City’s strength it the partnership of the government and the private sector.
“The private sector really carried out to the best of their abilities their roles and responsibilities in making MICECON 2023 a smashing success,” Al-ag who was head of the ways and means committee of the DOC said.
“From arrival to departure the private sector was there,” Al-ag said.
She cited the seamless transition of the preparations for MICECON during the change of political leadership after the 2022 elections.
“The private sector connected the previous administration to the new administration, we were thankful that the new Mayor Sebastian Duterte also supported MICECON,” Al-ag said.
She attributed the active private sector to the dynamic leadership of those leading the tourism industry.
In 2019 Davao City under the leadership of then Mayor Sara Z. Duterte made a successful bid to host the 2020 MICECON, seven years after it lasted hosted the MICECON in 2013. The 2020 MICECON was shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic and made its return in 2023 with Davao holding the rights to host the event.
“You know when I was Mayor it was really my dream MICECON and IRONMAN in 2013 Davao City hosted MICECON 2013 unfortunately it was held in March and at that time I was ready to give birth to my second child I was not able to attend the celebrations and when I came back as Mayor in 2016 isa yan sa sinulat ko na gusto ko gawin ulit,” Vice-President Sara Duterte said in her speech during the farewell dinner held on March 3.
The City’s hosting in 2013 reinforced Davao City’s position as an attractive MICE destination in the country.
“Through the collaboration of the Davao City local government and the private sector, we formed the MICE Executive Committee in 2015. From then until now Davao City hosted numerous conventions, and organized various roadshows and sales missions,” the Vice President said.
Duterte also praised the collaboration of both the government and private sector which made the MICECON hosting successful.
“I have to say that the strength of Davao City is the symbiotic relationship of the private sector and the local government unit. Napakalaki po ng pinagpapasalamat namin sa private sector, dahil sa malaking tulong nila sa mga pangarap ng local government unit. Thank you very much,” Vice President Duterte said in her speech.
According to Davao City Tourism Operations Office OIC Jennifer Romero the successful hosting will promote the city as a MICE destination to the world.
“With our speakers and delegates coming from within and outside the Philippines this can create awareness that Davao City is a prime city to host the MICE events that is why we are trying to strengthen our bid that Davao City will be a premiere destination for MICE and we are ready,” Romero said. (PIA/RG Alama)