NICE DESTINATION A memorandum of agreement between the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and Davao City on Dec. 22 was signed to formally task the city as the venue for next year's Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions Conference (MICECON) in March 2023.  (Photo courtesy of MICECON)

MANILA – Davao City will host the Philippine meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions conference (MICECON) in March 2023, setting the stage for the hard-hit sector's gradual recovery after the pandemic.

A memorandum of agreement between the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and Davao City on Dec. 22 was signed to formally task the city as the venue for next year's conference.

“We strongly believe and claim that Davao's hosting of the MICECON will provide a tremendous boost to the city's tourism industry and a huge step towards its own vision of making Davao a preferred MICE destination not only in the Philippines but in Asia," said TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Margarita Nograles.

"[W]e are very excited to make this happen with the ardent support of the City Government of Davao, under Mayor Sebastian Duterte, who recognizes the massive role that MICE tourism could play not only for Davao as the host city, but it will also contribute a direct positive impact to our country’s economic returns," she added.

The city government, for its part, expressed full support and cooperation for the conference to be held from March 1 to 3, 2023.

"Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Events are a great help to the tourism industry here in Davao, that is why it is always a pleasure and honor for us to host MICECON," said Davao City Vice Mayor Jay Melchor Quitain Jr.

"We believe that MICECON will help revitalize Davao’s tourism sector and open more doors for business that will boost the whole region’s economic growth”, he added.

The Philippine MICECON is the largest gathering of MICE stakeholders in the country and is expected to bring in 500 in-person delegates in Davao and more virtual delegates from the tourism industry.

MICE sector is one of the Philippines' top tourism product promotions, with the government ramping up efforts to position the country as a desirable business events destination in Asia.

Aside from Davao, the cities of Baguio, Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Clark in Pampanga, are among the countries' traditional MICE destinations. In 2021, the TPB also identified Boracay as a potential meetings hub. (PNA)