Web philippinetourism.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

World Health Tourism Congress hosted by the Philippines

It is a genuine concern for patients that sets the Filipino health care worker apart. Some will say that this is because malasakit or the capacity to empathize with people, especially the sick, is deeply ingrained in our collective cultural psyche. But couple the quality with excellent professional training, and it is not surprising that Filipino health professionals are among those most sought after throughout the world.

Thus, it is good news that the Philippines won the bid to host the fourth World Health Tourism Congress in 2009. The noteworthy global event will be held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza on March 26 to 28, and would serve as a key networking venue for leading health and wellness providers. Aside from a three-day conference and workshop, one-on-one business sessions between buyers and sellers make it possible to acquire supply contracts, establish market linkages, and agree on mutually beneficial transactions.

Attendance to the event is by invitation only, so that only serious solution providers and buyers can join. Among the solution providers that have been invited to participate are hotels, spas, health resorts, airline and air ambulance companies, medical services agents, inbound tour operators specializing in health tourism, and general and specialist hospitals and clinics. Cosmetic dentistry, plastic surgery, orthopedic and sports medicine are specializations that are expected to grow with the successful promotion of medical tourism.

Among the speakers at the press launch was Hadi Malaeb, managing partner of event organizer Aura International Dubai.

Although 92,000 medical tourists from the Arab world visited the Philippines in 2007, the number is expected to grow as the country is given prominence as a premium medical destination at the congress. Among the corporate buyers expected to attend the event are health officials from oil-producing Middle Eastern countries that are among the biggest spenders for medical travel. An additional boost for medical tourism is anticipated with the participation of international insurance companies whose network managers decide where to send their clients, third party medical agents mostly from North America and Western Europe who incorporate travel and tours with medical treatment for their clientele, and outbound tour operators who are on the lookout for health and wellness destinations. To emphasize the immense potential of medical tourism, Malaeb cited a 2006 study by the consultancy firm Globalysis that placed the health and wellness industry revenue at US$40 billion in 2006. The figure is projected to climb to US$60 billion in 2012.

In the Philippines, medical tourism brought in revenues of US $350 million since the program was launched in 2006. The target figure for year 2012 is US $1 billion. Undeniably, promoting the Philippines as a wellspring of healthcare and wellness through such events as the World Health Tourism Congress will be invaluable in reaching this goal.



Friday, December 12, 2008

World-class SMX Convention Center at Mall of Asia

Companies and groups organizing major events, exhibits, trade shows, and conferences have found a perfect venue at the SMX Convention Center, the largest convention center in the country.

A three-storey, 46,647-square meter building, the SMX Convention Center features open exhibition areas, multifunctional halls, and flexible meeting rooms with modern exposition amenities at par with the region’s Meeting, Incentive, Convention & Exposition (MICE) industry standards.

It is strategically located at the 67-hectare Mall of Asia Complex, envisioned to be the country’s premiere business and entertainment destination. A fast-rising integrated urban center, the Mall of Asia Complex takes pride in its harmonious mix of office, retail, leisure, residential, and tourism components.

The SMX Convention Center carries a design that allows for maximum use of space and gives organizers and exhibitors’ flexibility and options in terms of specific area requirements. The exhibition area at the ground level has a floor area of 9,130 square meters, divisible into four halls while the function area at the third level has a floor area of 7,100 square meters divisible into five function rooms with ten meeting rooms.

Complementing these are first-class services and amenities such as WiFi capability, a dedicated exhibition and convention team capable of responding to every clients’ needs from technical assistance to personalized customer service, from consultancy to event planning and implementation; hotel catering or budget buffets and set menus; excellent security services; safe parking spaces cheaper than hotel rates; and screened and professional suppliers for booth and special designs, AV equipment and logistics. Also soon to add to the SMX’s amenities are a business center, a travel café, cyber and deli café, and an executive cafeteria lounge.