A new knowledge hub rises as a catalyst of the MICE industry in the City of Gentle People
Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Occidental, has been called many names--the city of gentle people, surfing capital, and heritage town. But Dumaguete is also a well-known university town, home to the first American university in Asia and three other universities along with a good number of colleges and basic education schools. It exudes a youthful, academic vibe few cities can claim to have. It has an educated population and enjoys a high literacy rate. It only lacks one thing--a purpose-built venue to support its knowledge-sharing culture.
To this end, an emerging player in the real estate industry put in substantial investments in repurposing an old dormitory for athletes into the city’s first hotel and convention center. Sitting on a 1.19-hectare property, the project will be composed of three parts: the 1400-capacity convention center with exhibition halls, a 36-room hotel, and a restaurant by the plaza. The decision to go the adaptive reuse route is often uneasy but the developer is determined to give the old building a new lease on life.
The design of the convention center features a facade of timber slats and a distinct geometric canopy. Tucked between the timber slats are accent lighting fixtures arranged randomly across the building’s front elevation. The rest of the buildings follow in the rustic character of the convention center in keeping with the countryside atmosphere of the city. Dumaguete possesses tourism assets of its own yet it often merely serves as a jump-off point to other more popular destinations in neighboring towns and cities. The PJL Convention Center will be the catalyst in igniting a fledgling meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry in Dumaguete and giving the city a competitive edge so it could enjoy a sizeable market share of tourism expenditure in the region.