Home > Philippine Advertising > 2009 (21st) philippine advertising congress to be moved out of baquio?

2009 (21st) philippine advertising congress to be moved out of baquio?

we think its wise to move the ad congress elsewhere. baguio itself has things to rebuild and the roads to baguo are much more difficult to pass through. services and accomodations in baguio may also be affected. it won’t be a fun and smooth ad congress if it is held in baguio.

Baguio to rebuild, with or without ad congress

By Vincent Cabreza, Desiree Caluza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:53:00 10/15/2009

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—Hotel managers on Thursday started planning for this city’s recovery from the onslaught of Tropical Cyclone “Pepeng” (international codename: Parma) without the anticipated big contribution of this year’s Philippine Advertising Congress.

Officials of the Baguio Convention and Visitors Bureau, composed of local hotel managers, received “unofficial notification” from organizers of the ad congress that Baguio would no longer be hosting the biennial event scheduled to start on November 18, said Councilor Perlita Chan-Rondez, chair of the council committee on tourism.

The congress will instead be held at the Subic Bay Freeport because Pepeng damaged all the roads to Baguio, bureau officials said.

Hosting the ad congress would have brought to Baguio top businessmen and companies that rely on the advertising industry, the city tourism office said.

But a representative from the ad congress media relations office said no decision has yet been made about moving the event from Baguio.

In a telephone interview on Thursday, Betty Olarte, the event’s media relations officer, said they were surprised by information posted on the social networking site Facebook and other websites about the supposed shift in venue.

“So we posted our replies on Facebook and we sent out official statements to all newspapers [to indicate] we have not yet decided,” Olarte said.

In a news conference on Thursday, Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. dismissed reports that Baguio had lost the ad congress, “which we bid for and which we won fair and square.”

The city last hosted the ad congress in 2003.

“I would be the first to know if that happens,” Bautista said.

But he said organizers of the ad congress were divided about how it should stage the event in light of the damage wrought by the successive storms that hit Metro Manila and northern Luzon from late September to early October.

He said the Advertising Board wanted to scale down the event because holding an extravagant program weeks after the calamities “may be perceived as insensitive.”

Quoting a report from the Advertising Board, Bautista said the group also had to address the economic impact of Tropical Storm “Ondoy” on its members, who are mostly based in Metro Manila.

Many sponsors pulled out of the ad congress as a result of budget cuts undertaken to cope with typhoon-related damage and business losses, he said.

A delegation of city tourism and local government officials is scheduled to meet with officials of the Advertising Board next week to convince them not to pull the congress out of Baguio.

“We can offer them discounts.… Now is the time when staging the ad congress here would help Baguio the most…. We can appeal to their nobility by helping Baguio out,” Rondez said during the Baguio Convention and Visitors Bureau meeting.

But Anthony de Leon, general manager of the Baguio Country Club, said hotels preferred to concentrate on rebuilding the local economy.

He said breaking the Baguio contract was tantamount to “bad faith” on the part of ad congress organizers. All major hotels here had booked some 2,000 delegates for next month’s event, he said.

None of these reservations had been paid for in advance, and could be considered losses, he said.

There are 26 major hotels in the city—a total 1,777 rooms—according to tourism officials.

“In the hospitality industry there is one golden rule. The most perishable item is not food, but [idle] room nights. A room that is not sold is gone forever,” said De Leon, who is also president of the Hotels and Restaurants Association of Baguio.

Benedicto Alhambra, city tourism officer, said 24 hotels and inns, including Teachers’ Camp, ended up taking care of 878 tourists who were stranded here by Pepeng.

During the period, the occupancy rate was down to 18 percent at Camp John Hay Manor, while the country club saw its occupancy rate go down from 27 percent on Oct. 5 to 4 percent on October 7, and increase only to 8 percent on Oct. 10, according to city tourism office data.

A convention to be staged next month by doctors has been cancelled but the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers chose to proceed with its national convention here on Nov. 26, counting 3,000 participants.

De Leon said even the 60th Fil-Am Golf Tournament, which is expected to gather 1,200 players, will also proceed next month.

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