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DTI eyes Cebu as reg’l hub for conventions

By Louella D. Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 18, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The local government of Cebu is urged to come up with a strategic plan to position the province as a regional hub for meetings and conventions, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo believes Cebu has the potential to become a hub for meetings and conventions being held in the Southeast Asian region.

 “Cebu, I think can be a regional hub for conventions. I think it has more chances than Manila,” he told reporters recently.

To realize the province’s potential as a regional hub for conventions, Domingo said the local government needs to work on a strategic plan.

“Cebu has to aspire to become a regional hub. It has to build more hotels. It has to push national government to build a bridge that will link the province to Bohol,” he said.

Cebu is being pushed as a regional hub for conventions given strong interest from foreign investors, as well as upcoming developments in the province.

Domingo said a lot of foreign investors have expressed interest to visit the province.

“Cebu is a more manageable city because it is small. The perception foreigners have is that it is less complicated in Cebu,” he said.

Apart from serving as a venue for conventions, Cebu also has resorts which delegates could visit right after their meetings.

“If it (Cebu) can be linked to Bohol, then you have a variety of choices,” Domingo said.

Cebu is likewise seen as a viable hub for meetings and conventions in the region as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is undergoing an upgrade.

The MCIA expansion project is the first airport project to be awarded under the government’s Public-Private Partnership program.

Filipino-owned Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based GMR Airports Ltd. bagged the contract to undertake the MCIA expansion project.

The joint venture aims to transform the country’s second busiest airport into the world’s first resort airport.

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