Demand for conference-friendly spaces in hotels continues to outstrip supply, and the trend looks set to continue. The global demand for meetings and events is predicted to surge 5-10% this year alone, according to CWT’s 2019 Meetings & Events Future Trends Report, with the largest growth area in meetings with between 101-500 attendees.
Amid this rising global demand, it’s Asia Pacific that sits at the forefront of growth in 2019. The IMF forecasts a GDP increase of 5.6% next year in the region and, as more multinational companies establish a presence in fast-growing markets such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar, Asia Pacific is experiencing a palpable buzz across the meetings and events ecosystem. Average meeting sizes in the region have risen by 3% this year alone, and inbound and outbound travel throughout these countries is also on the up.
It does no harm, of course, that swathes of hotels primed for MICE events in Asia Pacific are in tropical climes, boosting their attractiveness for bleisure travellers and incentive trips.
The award-winning Crimson Mactan Resort & Spa, on the palm-fringed shores of Cebu Island in the central Philippines, is a perfect example of a MICE destination that has it all.
As the oldest city in the Philippines, Cebu is packed with history and heritage and has long attracted tourists keen to take in Spanish colonial landmarks, soak up picture-perfect beachfronts, explore its incredible marine biodiversity and enjoy the legendary Filipino hospitality. In tandem with the country’s growing global economic clout, the city of Cebu has also become one of the Philippines’ most important economic centres and is generating increasing interest and business within the MICE sector.
The five-star Crimson Mactan Resort & Spa offers flexible meeting solutions for groups between 30 and 300. Its versatile meeting rooms are equipped with modern business facilities and range from the 476.5-sqm Hall and elegant 315-sqm Ballroom, down to the three smaller Coral rooms, which measure between 107-sqm and 95-sqm. These elegantly appointed indoor areas can be configured to suit various organisers’ needs, from simple classroom-style layouts to banquet or theatre configurations.
But it’s the sweeping outdoor spaces that offer the main selling point at Crimson Mactan. A series of landscaped outdoor garden areas, a private white-sand beach and a selection of breezy terraces alongside the tiered infinity pool are all available for use by event organisers for outdoor banquets, cocktail gatherings, red-carpet events, thematic parties, recreational activities and team-building sessions.
The hotel has a suite of in-house managers and coordinators to handle MICE events, which are available to work with corporate and event organisers on the details beforehand, and also provide ongoing assistance throughout the event. As the hotel’s in-house Director of Fun, Nicolas Fidele is on hand to organise adrenaline-fuelled team activities, including watersports and signature theme breaks that make an exciting reprieve to day-long meetings.
But aside from its attentive staff, 250 guest rooms, 40 luxury villas, and comfortable, modern facilities, the hotel also purveys a holiday atmosphere, making it a prime choice for indulgent downtime opportunities for hardworking attendees. The Aum Spa, awarded “Philippines' Best Resort Spa” by the World Luxury Spa Awards, comprises a spa pool, yoga studio, male and female jacuzzis, steam rooms and sauna along with indoor and outdoor therapy rooms. The spa menu features traveller-friendly treatments such as Jet Lag Re-Emergence, designed to relieve aching muscles.
In the evenings, attendees can also enjoy delectable tapas-inspired dishes at Enye, the Spanish restaurant helmed by Chef Chele Gonzalez and hailed as one of the country’s best new dining destinations, or drinks at the country’s only Rock Bar, Azure Beach Club.
In response to growing demand and the strong Cebu economy, Crimson Mactan Resort & Spa is currently expanding its MICE offerings. In 2017, parent company Filinvest Hospitality Corp announced a P3 billion investment to encompass a two-tower expansion, featuring 246 suites that will bring the resort’s total inventory to 536 upon opening in 2021. The development also includes a new coffee shop, gym, executive lounge and new 4,000-sqm swimming pool. Crucially, the hotel is set to unveil a bigger ballroom, which will be able to hold some 1,500 people – an offering that is more than the capacity of most Mactan resorts or even city hotels.
With the bold addition of these facilities, Crimson Mactan Resort & Spa is set to remain a flagship MICE event destination in the region for years to come.