Digital marketing seen to boost MICE tourism in Iloilo

Professional marketing specialist Zeno Martinez explains the importance of digital marketing to stakeholders in order to promote Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) tourism in Iloilo City during a workshop on Sept 4, 2019 at the Ker Building. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

WITH the Fourth Industrial Revolution fuelling breakthroughs in the world, digital marketing is a factor that will propel Iloilo as a meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibits (MICE) destination.

This was reiterated during the first day of the workshop of MICE stakeholders on Wednesday at the Kerr Building.

According to Salvador Sarabia Jr., director of the city’s MICE center and the mayor’s Executive Assistant for MICE promotions, the first day of the workshop highlighted the need of the stakeholders to utilize digital marketing in order to boost the promotions of Iloilo as a MICE destination.

“The workshop explained the importance of marketing in relation to additional marketing of press releases above and below the line of digital media,” he said.

By using digital platforms, Sarabia said they hope to increase the number of visitors in the city and eventually increase business and investments.

“Nowadays, digital media is important because almost all the 70 percent or 60 percent of the communities have cellphones. Ang objective sini sang MICE is increase the number of visitors here in the city and in the long run to increase investments in the city,” he furthered.

One of the speakers, a professional marketing specialist, Zeno Martinez underscored the need to use the available technology to efficiently market MICE tourism in Iloilo.

“You should not be intimated by technology, we have social media and we have online advertising. There are many channels amo na gusto namon nga ma-transfer ang knowledge and awareness to reach out to the market,” he stressed.

He emphasized that MICE stakeholders should be aggressive in promotions and marketing.

“It is not enough to provide incentives and it is not enough mahulat kamo sa hotels and expect clients to respond, you have to go out and you have to be aggressive when you market,” Martinez stressed.

Martinez also enjoined officials and stakeholders to produce a lot of media content and MICE promotions material to be published online.

“We have to have a centralized repository of MICE material and dapat maproduce nonstop because  we have to produce a lot,” he said.

Then, all active Ilonggo social media users will play a huge role to promote the material and become the own marketers of Iloilo City, he furthered.

“If there are 100,000 Ilonggos in social media, all the Ilonggos in the social media are all marketers of Iloilo City. When you market Iloilo City, everybody benefits,” Martinez explained.

The three-day workshop gathered barangay officials, department heads from the City Hall, academe, private sectors and non-government agencies from all over Iloilo to lay down inputs and strategies in promoting the city as a premiere MICE destination.

“MICE is the centerpiece of this administration’s functions and governance because tourism as we all know is a good and effective engine for growth and progress,” Sarabia noted.