01 March 2016

SBMA to spend P21 million for SBECC renovation

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is spending around P21 million to complete the renovation of the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC) here in time for the conduct of the 2016 Ad Summit Pilipinas next week.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia, who personally guided the media in a tour of the facility on Friday, said the SBECC repair is the most important project that SBMA is completing to date as it gears up for the influx of visitors during the summer season.

“There were some feedback last year that SBECC facilities like comfort rooms and meeting rooms fell short of expectations of a world-class convention and exhibition center, so we’re making sure that SBECC is now up to standards,” Garcia said.

Garcia pointed out during the tour that the finishing touches being in the SBECC building, as well as the landscaping outside, make it feel like a top-notch hotel, a distinction that could bring in more customers. “As you can see, we’re still doing some renovation, but already there is a convention going on. A lot of companies have been inquiring on when they can use the facility,” he added.

The SBECC, which will host the Ad Summit for the second consecutive staging, is regarded as the crown jewel that earned for Subic the honor of being the “Premier Convention Capital of Central Luzon” in 2012.

Along with the popular nature-theme parks here, as well as the seaside hotels and shopping centers, SBECC was also instrumental in Subic’s recognition by the Department of Tourism as the No. 1 Tourist Destination in Region 3 for the past two consecutive years.

Garcia said that in order to keep Subic’s titles, the SBMA has already implemented major face-lift projects in most tourism facilities and infrastructures here “to make sure that Subic Bay Freeport would be ready for the big volume of tourists arriving during summer, especially this Holy Week.”

Referring to reports from the SBMA Tourism Department, Garcia said that tourist arrivals in Subic reached 7.3 million in 2015, an increase of 14 percent over the 6.4-million record in 2014.

He also noted that tourists who actually stayed overnight or for several days in Subic reached 1.43 million in 2015, or 21-percent higher than the 1.18 million recorded in 2014.

Garcia added that the SBMA is now refurbishing all the road features in Subic, and placing police and travelers-assistance outposts in strategic areas, in time for the summer season.

Meanwhile, tourism-related businesses are also making necessary renovations and upgrading their facilities, he added. (Henry EmpeƱo, BusinessMirror)

The Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC) undergoing major renovations in time for Ad Summit Pilipinas 2016 (AMD/MPD-SBMA)