The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), together with the Department of Tourism (DOT) has partnered with the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers Inc. (PACEOS) in crafting the roadmap for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry.

The partnership was sealed through the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo, DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Jr. and PACEOS President Jing Lagandaon at the BOI Building recently (November 15, 2016).

“We recognize the importance of tourism as one of the main drivers for inclusive growth since it is one of the largest employment generators in the country,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chair Ramon M. Lopez said.

“The agreement will boost the local tourism industry. Once the MICE roadmap is in place, it will lead to more investments not only in the accommodation sector, but also in the infrastructure side,” added Undersecretary Rodolfo.

Undersecretary Rodolfo said that as a substantial generator of local employment, the tourism industry is one of the industries being considered for inclusion in the Inclusive Business (IB) category in the proposed 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) which is currently being drafted by the BOI.

The MICE Roadmap aims to enhance the competitiveness of the industry with assessment and formulation of actions plans to address issues and concerns within the industry. It will identify areas of challenges, determine the country’s niche in the industry by devising short, medium to long-term strategies that will chart the industry direction, expand network and linkages with other industry stakeholders and create a sectoral working group that will implement the actions plans of the roadmap.

Undersecretary Bengzon said that the DOT has identified the MICE Industry as one of the main tourism products in the country’s National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) and together with BOI’s support the crafting of the MICE Roadmap, the realization of the country’s tourism development goals will be achieved.

The MICE industry is an important part of the NTDP for 2016-2022 which is being reviewed by DOT and will soon be discussed with the Tourism Coordinating Council and other stakeholders. DOT said the new NTDP aims to increase foreign tourism arrivals to 12 million by 2022. The Philippines registered 5.36 million arrivals in 2015.

Under the agreement, PACEOS will provide administrative assistance to the consultant who will be crafting the roadmap including the coordination of point persons in the MICE industry who can be resources of information in crafting of the roadmap. PACEOS will also monitor the activities relative to the preparation, drafting, finalization and approval of the roadmap and its implementation.

BOI on the other hand will provide funding support through the Manufacturing Resurgence Program (MRP) while DOT will provide support through conceptualization, organization, and conduct of focus group discussions and consultation meetings in crafting of the roadmap. DOT will also provide comments and recommend the acceptability on the draft roadmap to BOI.

PACEOS is a non-profit association composed of professional events, exhibition/convention organizers and their partners in business which include venue owners, booth contractors, freight forwarders, and hotels as well as institutions offering allied services, such as travel and tour agencies, airlines, printing, and other agencies.

Established in 1981, PACEOS aims to turn the country as a leading exhibition and convention destination in the ASEAN region. It is also committed in its efforts to raise the level of professionalism and operational standards in the industry through different activities, programs and constant interaction with its members.