ILOILO CITY is being positioned as a primary meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) destination in the country under the Department of Tourism’s (DoT) three-year marketing plan. “Unlike other destinations of the same MICE capacity, Iloilo City enjoys better accessibility and connectivity, infrastructure and facilities, tourism services, and the only destination that has hosted international meetings and conventions like APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations),” said Tourism Undersecretary Arturo P. Boncato, Jr. in his presentation during the launch of the plan on Feb. 12-13, held in the city. Under the marketing program, which has a P50 million budget, DOT plans to establish a MICE desk, Iloilo City MICE alliance, MICE guidelines, promotional materials and collaterals. DoT-Western Visayas Regional Director Helen J. Catalbas cited the MICE industry as part of the product portfolio of Iloilo, alongside the other contributing sectors. “Iloilo as a tourist destination has a product portfolio that includes not only cultural tourism, nature- based tourism, diving and marine sports tourism, educational, leisure, entertainment, shopping tourism, culinary and food tourism but also the MICE industry,” she said. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo