The national tourism organizations of countries all over the world spend a lot of money attracting the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) sector of the tourism industry to their shores, as these bring in the desired revenues. Although the main purpose of MICE travel is business, and it brings in large groups to a destination, it almost always involves a leisure component.
What exactly are the benefits of MICE to a country’s tourism industry? First, it has no seasonality, which means that, even during the low tourist season, MICE events are still taking place. Second, because of its financial advantages, the country is encouraged to develop better tourism infrastructure.
MICE travelers always spend more than the regular tourist because they usually are on company account. Since their transportation and accommodations are paid for by the business enterprise or organization they work for, they don’t mind either extending their stay and spend more, or avail of more expensive services and items during their travel.
Another reason why MICE travelers are sought after by a country’s tourism industry is that they usually are accompanied by family. Or, more often than not, they return with family or friends to the country they visited, to have more time to enjoy what it offers.
Small wonder why even Olongapo City has decided to put its best foot forward to get their share of this lucrative sector and make itself MICE-ready with the newly opened Convention Center, the first managed venue in the North and the seventh among the SMX Convention Centers in the country.
The massive Olongapo City Convention Center has 2,130 square meters of leasable space and is located on the fourth floor of the newly opened SM City Olongapo Central, a one-hour-fifteen-minute drive from Clark International Airport.
Although it can hold a maximum of 2,400 guests, the “new reality” set-up limits its capacity to only 1,900 guests. It has five flexible function rooms, seven meeting rooms, six kitchens or preparation facilities, one car lift, two freight lifts, and one passenger lift.
All of the meeting rooms and function rooms are fully carpeted, Wi-Fi ready, and have provisions for the Differently Abled. They also have CCTV security cameras, back-up emergency power, and an automated fire alarm system. For those requiring emergency treatment, a medical clinic is available.
SMX Convention Center vice president and general manager Agnes Pacis declares that customers and employees’ safety, security, and well-being are her utmost priority and concern. That is why face masks and face shields are required at all times. Foot bath, temperature checks, and hand sanitizers are posted at all entrances.
The venue’s staff is assigned to see to it that there is frequent sanitation of high-contact surfaces and physical distancing in all areas, including restrooms, elevators, and escalators. Even their accredited caterers, contractors, and event organizers are required to follow these stringent measures before entering the building.
I’m glad that we now have this new venue in the North because it has further bolstered our country’s capability to cater to the lucrative MICE events. With the dependable SMX quality and brand of service as its trademark, this new facility will certainly be a big help to our tourism industry in regaining its pre-COVID standing as a major contributor to our country’s coffers.
Olongapo City Convention Center—nice for MICE!
YOUR WEEKEND CHUCKLE
Christmas will no longer be complete this year. The Three Kings will be required to go through 14 days of quarantine!
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