The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod has granted Mayor Evelio Leonardia authority to sign a memorandum of agreement for the hosting of the 2018 MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions & Exhibitions) Conference, or MICECON, at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City from November 27 to 29.
Leonardia said the MOA will be entered into among the City of Bacolod, Department of Tourism, and the Tourism Promotions Board.
He said the city is ready to host the conference.
“If we are in the map of MICE, it means that our tourism stature or value in the picture of the tourism industry in the Philippines is high. Once we get there, we can say that we are already in the big league of the tourism industry,” Leonardia said.
Bacolod City won against Clark, that is one of the first 5G cities of the Philippines, for the hosting of the conference, he said.
“If we have beaten them, it means that these people in the tourism industry have seen the potentials of Bacolod, and we have to avail of that. We have to ride on that growth momentum so we can pursue our gains in the tourism industry, he added.
Leonardia also said they must have seen that tourism is going to be the biggest industry in the world.
He said he wishes that the BacoLaodiat Festival can be used as a vehicle because it is expected that about 500 million Chinese will be travelling out of their country in five years time.
Councilor Em Ang, chairman of the SP Committee on Tourism, earlier said that the reason Bacolod won is that they saw how rapidly it has grown in the last two years and it has been in the national scene because of the awards and citations it received, especially when it was cited as “The Top Model City”.
They are also looking at Bacolod as a good model for replication of best practices, she said.
Leonardia said he believes that, because of the magnitude and quality of the event, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat will be attending.*
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