SM eyes another convention center in Mindanao

Subscribe Now August 28, 2013 at 08:11am

SMX Convention Specialist Corporation, a subsidiary of SM Investments Corporation's SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation (SMHCC), is considering General Santos City or Cagayan de Oro City for the site of its second convention center in Mindanao.

“We will see if there’s another opportunity to go to General Santos and Cagayan De Oro,” said SMX Convention General Manager Dexter Deyto in an interview during a tour of their newly-opened facilities in Davao.

However, Deyto said “there’s no definite timetable yet. Our Mindanao (operations) is Davao, we have in

Cebu (for Visayas), then in Luzon, we have in Mall of Asia and Taguig. The strongest candidate (for the next one) is probably CDO, but nothing definite yet.”

Deyto said they are also looking at putting up another convention center in Cebu, although plans are still on hold.

“As long as we cover these key locations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, we are okay. We will look at that market first, then we really have to study where to put up the next one,” he said.

He noted that investment for new convention centers are higher if they are stand-alone projects like the one in Mall of Asia and the next one in Cebu while costs are lower if they rent space in an SM mall like in Davao and Taguig.

Deyto said that, for future convention centers, there will be more tie-ups with the malls “because we saw how it works. It is more convenient for meeting planners and guests.”

According to Deyto, the SM group is very bullish about the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and events) market because of two big events coming in: the World Economic Forum and the APEC in 2015.

He noted that the MICE market not only boosts the business of convention centers but also for the SM group’s hotels and malls.

“A MICE delegate has an expenditure that is six to seven times more than a leisure traveler. This generates sales for hotels, restaurants, shops, transportation providers and tour operators,” Deyto said.


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