The Philippines Western Visayas key players in tourism are determined to be at the forefront in making Iloilo city and the region a key tourist destination. The province of Iloilo is set to position itself as the conference capital of Western Visayas with the construction of its own ($US10 Million) convention center.
TOURISM Secretary Ramon Jimene said he wanted to involve the the key players of the Iloilo Business Club, Iloilo Chamber of Commerce, Iloilo Convention and Visitors Bureau, Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, Iloilo Hotels and Restaurants Association and other stakeholders to spearhead the the effort.
Iloilo stakeholders will attend the 2013 World Travel Mart in London to showcase Western Visayas. The Department of Tourism (DOT) recognises that apart from cultural tourism, the region needs to develop their beaches, education facilities and improve market access and connectivity.
Currently, Boracay alone has more than 1 million visitors a year and the region expects more than 5.5 million visitors by 2013.
Megaworld Corp. President Andrew L. Tan, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, launch the proposed Iloilo City Convention Center in November 2012.
The new state-of-the-art convention center will be built on a 1.7-hectare of lot in the District of Mandurriao donated by the Megaworld Corp. The funds will be sourced from an annual priority development fund. The construction is expected to begin early next year and be finished by the end of 2014.