Associations Forum, Australia; Susan Careens of Interact fame, among many others who talked about green, sustainability and the use of technology to make for more efficient MICE operations. It was a welcome sign of improvement in our local hospitality industry to see the following changes, albeit for the better: ; The conference did not use any Styrofoam. Water was served in reusable glasses; coffee was served in paper cups and you could use a permanent marker to write your name on the cup, so you could reuse it throughout the day. Radiators Blue gave out usable water bottles in their trademark blue color. The conference served snacks on banana leaves on “into” trays and during one Coffee Break, Blurter resorts even used a nip box lined with banana leaves that many speakers took home. ; The Shanghai-La McCann gave away Citronella candles in cute woven containers, as their theme was CLAMPING or Glam Camping and citronella candles sure come in handy to ward off insects in camp. ; The MICRON organizers led by Stance Syrians gave away flash disks or USB sticks so you could download the presentations, rather than bringing home tons of paper or amounts.
This was appropriate because
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Some attendees approached me to say they ere now ready to “buy local and use local. ” Our localisms will differentiate us from other more modern Asian countries. If we use more local ingredients, use more local food and drink, we surely will stand out because we have our own unique flavors. In architecture, we also can now promote our “bay kobo” (nip hut) than compete with the latest glass and steel structure of Thailand or Singapore. Like the old saying goes: “If you don’t have the height, maybe you have the speed! ” So let us not be disappointed or discouraged when we are compared with our Asian neighbors.
Nature is in. CEO-friendly is in demand. CEO lodges are the newest craze in the hospitality industry. Even Bill Gates now stays in a “natural” resort in China, as mentioned by our speaker Whites Meat. Who knows? Maybe we can claim the unique selling proposition that we have the best CEO-friendly lodges and sustainable food and drink. After all, we do have banana leaves in abundance, we have organic rice and other organic foods because we cannot afford fertilizers and growth enhancers. Let us promote our being natural, CEO-friendly and sustainable.
Just like MICRON 2011 did. Kudos to The Tourism Promotion Board for a Job well done. Chit Juan is an owner and co-founder of Schistose sustainable lifestyle at the Serenade and Podium malls. She also heads the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines (www. Webb. PH) and the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. (www. Plasterboard. Com). She often speaks to the youth and corporate groups on Social Entrepreneurship, Women’s Empowerment through business and Sustainability. You can email her at [email protected] PH or follow her on twitter. Com/ chitchat.