The tourism department’s office in MIMAROPA is seeking to bring flights from other provinces to Palawan, with the objective of making Puerto Princesa a center for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE).

According to City Tourism Department (CTD) head Demetrio Alvior Jr., MICE, also known as business tourism or “bleisure” (business + leisure), has become a significant component of the worldwide tourism blend that is well on its way to supplanting conventional business travel.

After several rough years, he added, Puerto Princesa really needs MICE since it can create new possibilities for the tourism sector, which is seeking fresh ways to boost the local economy.

Alvior explained that to be able to bring in MICE travelers, more flights are needed from provinces like Iloilo, Davao, Surigao, and others to Palawan.

“Ang daming mga grupo na dumarating dito sa lungsod ng Puerto Princesa. May mga malalaking grupo—may mga international, at more on MICE tayo. Ito ay more on convention, Lakbay Aral—na yan naman ang kinacapitalize natin,” he said Friday during the Amos Ta Ren sa Puerto Princesa radio program of the CTD.

He said that Department of Tourism (DOT) regional director Dr. Zeny Pallugna is focused on expanding the city’s potentials as a MICE destination.

This is because it is the only place in the region with enough venues and facilities to host huge gatherings of people for conventions and conferences. Alvior said the city already has bookings for MICE until July this year.

“Si director ay very aggressive—wino-workout niya ngayon na magkaroon ng flight uli ang Clark-Iloilo-Puerto Princesa, bagong wino-workout din nila yong Davao-Puerto Princesa, at saka yong Surigao-Puerto Princesa, kasi ang Siargao gustong maging sister city ng Puerto Princesa,” he said.

“Kung gusto talaga natin na dumami ang turista natin, dapat maganda ang connectivity natin. Kailangan dagdagan natin ang mga eroplano para gumanda ang ekonomiya ng Puerto Princesa at ng Palawan,” he explained.

Alvior also said that the city is considering adding more international flights, such as those from Bangkok, Thailand, and Incheon and Jeju Island, South Korea.