Iloilo City's tourism industry on recovery path

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Iloilo City is seeing a sustained recovery of its tourism industry from the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In an interview on IMT Conversations, city tourism officer Junel Ann Divinagracia said the easing of travel restrictions paved the way for the entry of more visitors.

The city, which is being positioned as a primary meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) destination in the country, hosted several big gatherings in the first half of the year.

Hotels and other accommodation establishments in the city, according to Divinagracia, noted significant improvements in their occupancy rates.

"Amat amat nabuhi ang aton turismo. We are very fortunate since May sige sige na ang pag-abot sang mga bisita not only for seminars and events, kadamu from nearby municipalities and provinces nga nagastaycation sa aton, ang mga hotels puno since May,” she said.

Restaurants, malls, and pasalubong centers operating in the metropolis also saw increases in foot traffic.

"Daw nabulabog liwat ang Iloilo," said Divinagracia.

The biggest convention so far held in the city this year was conducted by the Philippine Elementary School Principals Association (PESPA) last June with around 6,000 participants from all over the Philippines. The second batch of their participants (about 3,000) will be in the city this month.

Other major incoming activities in the city this year are the conventions of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Sunlife.

According to Divinagracia, the city government collaborated with airlines and shopping malls to give MICE participants discounts.

“Our Iloilo Convention Center is always full because of the conventions,” she shared.

Aside from the MICE events, the city government and the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) are also gearing up for this year's Bike Festival.IMT




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