Filipinos look overseas for M&I

STRENGTHENING business performance among corporates in the Philippines is spurring greater demand for overseas meetings and incentives, said MICE specialists at AIME 2013.

Speaking to TTGmice e-Weekly during the welcome lunch yesterday, Simon Ang, operations manager of Manila-based Celebrate Life TLC Corp, said: “Companies in the Philippines are doing really well as the current leadership is good, and the global economy is starting to see signs of improvement. As a result, my clients are raising their budgets for overseas meetings and incentives this year by as much as 25 per cent.”

Jefferson R Catalan, general manager of BC Travel and Tours Corp in Quezon City, also reported a 50 per cent increase in his clients’ budgets, which was spent on better quality accommodation in boutique and five-star hotels.

Catalan commented that some clients were involving more attendees in their programmes and buying up destinations that offer unique experiences. He said that interest towards Australia on the whole was growing as “most venues offered in Australia cannot be found in Asian cities”.

Meanwhile, Ang also noticed that clients were willing to visit newer and farther destinations, such as Bhutan and Dubai, while China’s Shenzhen was also gaining ground for its lower prices and proximity to Hong Kong, enabling day trips.

Meanwhile, Travelexperts Makati City’s vice president ­– business development, Janice T Go, noted a rise in meetings and incentives bound for Europe, the US and secondary cities in Japan.

“A lot of our clients don’t like having their events in a (domestic) venue. They prefer to go overseas, which will ensure a captive audience and allow delegates to take home a memorable experience. As such, we have to be aware of unusual venues available in any destination, and Australia is great for that. But we need to get in touch more with the cities (to know what event products and experiences are available),” said Go.

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