MANILA, 26 July 2022: The Philippines seems to be on the right track as the country bids to host the Rotary International Convention (RIC) in Manila in 2028 after a successful campaign during the recent RIC in Houston, Texas held on June 4-8, 2022.

Manila was shortlisted with Krakow, Poland, as the final bid contenders to host the prestigious event that gathers people from all cultures to take action and make positive changes for communities worldwide.

The Philippines’ Tourism Promotions Board and its representatives, Arnold Gonzales and  Raquel Ruth Tria-Joya, (Acting Head and Sales and Accounts Management Division and acting head of the agency’s MICE Department), joined the Philippine delegation of around 300 Rotarians to showcase what the Philippines has to offer during the five-day event in Houston.

A traditional Philippine Breakfast, attended by more than 400 Rotarians from the Philippines and Asia, was organised, paving the way for the Philippines to announce its bid formally. The event also highlighted the support given by the TPB and the Department of Tourism (DOT) to bring the convention to the Philippines.

“The traditional Philippine breakfast provided friendly and fun interaction among the Rotarians. Foreign guests actively participated in Philippine traditional dances. Some even sang Philippine songs,” Gonzales recounted. But for the MICE head, innate Filipino hospitality also played a vital role. “The unique selling point of Philippine Rotarians is the legendary Filipino hospitality. Guests are looking forward to a fun convention experience as what our country brand promises to its visitors.”

The RIC 2028 Bidding Committee, composed of various Rotary clubs in the Philippines, is now preparing for the ocular inspection of the Rotary International Board in Manila on 13-15 September 2022. The winning bidder is scheduled to be announced upon completion of the ocular inspection in Manila and Krakow at either end of 2022 or early 2023.

Hosting a major MICE event is not new to the TPB team, but for Gonzales, it still boils down to the overall packaging of a country as a result of collective efforts that allow bids to be successful. “The unique attributes of a destination are the basis for competitive advantage,” he said. “Country brand strength, among other aspects, appears as an important foundation for a successful MICE destination, particularly in terms of political and economic stability as well as general attractiveness and capability as a tourism destination.”

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(Your Stories: TPB)