The Chief of the City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) has welcomed the approval of the city ordinance creating the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) Board as it manifests the city government’s push to make MICE the main tourism service brand for Davao city.

Chief Tourism Officer Generose Tecson in an interview with Byaheng Do30 last week said that the ordinance, which was approved on June 14, 2022, is the first in the country.

Under the Ordinance, the MICE Board shall be the primary planning and coordinating body in the development and promotion of Davao City as a MICE destination.

“What it will do is generate attention from investors, it will signal to the investors that Davao City is very serious about Mice so they will think more about investing in MICE facilities in Davao City. When you will have construction and when you have already set up the facilities then there will be frontline workers for those,” she said, adding that construction of more hotels is needed and more jobs will open.

“If you have conventions in Davao, these people [from conventions] are the ones who will buy pasalubongs, they will go around the city with the use of our taxis and other modes of transportation), Tecson said.

She said that the goal of the city to become the center of conventions and meetings has been incorporated into the 25-year Tourism Masterplan of the city.

“We really made it [Tourism Masterplan] purposely that MICE is the main product of the Davao City and according to the plans for the clusters that will be developed within the city will be geared towards MICE,” she said.

Among the target areas for development are Chinatown and Santa Ana Wharf. As a partner, the private sector has also developed MICE-centered projects such as the township project in SIR Matina which includes a 5,000 square meter convention center.

She said that the creation of the MICE Board is supported by the Strategic Management Plan for MICE, which is a detailed plan for MICE and a take-off from the Tourism Masterplan. This management plan outlines how to push Davao City as a preferred MICE destination not only in the country but in the ASEAN Region.

Tecson said that MICE is the income-generating sector of tourism because it cuts across other sectors of the industry such as MICE facilities, hotels, and transportation.

In 2019, the city recorded around Php20 billion generated by MICE from the direct tourism receipts amounting to Php 38 billion.

“We’ve really proposed to the city that with MICE it is going to jumpstart our economy. And right now, we can see it because our hotels are fully booked and it is all because they are hosting conferences right now as well as meetings,” Tecson said. CIO