ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
MICE could become economic driver for RI
The government is being urged to see the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry as part of the economic sector as it has a bigger multiplier effect compared to the leisure tourism industry.
The Tourism Ministry’s Southeast Asia tourism promotion assistant deputy Rizki Handayani said on Wednesday that one MICE event could move many sectors at a cross-industry level.
“We have to see MICE as a part of the trade and investment sectors,” she said on the sidelines of the ASEAN Business Forum 2015 in Bangkok.
She added that given the nature of MICE, which are usually held in a business-to-business way by professionals, one exhibition, for example, could attract investment and trade relationships besides moving conventional tourism businesses, such as hotels and leisure attractions. The events could also trigger transfers of knowledge and improve the country’s image if prominent persons attended the meetings.
“More conferences and exhibitions taking place in Indonesia means our professionals have more access to knowledge and business opportunities,” she said, adding that the government needed to boost the industry through regulation improvement, events and destinations promotions, bidding assistance, budget allocation and a government-to-government approach to obtain facilities.
Of millions of tourist arrivals in Indonesia annually, around 500,000 to 700,000 were for MICE, Rizki said.
Data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) showed that the country booked 6.32 million tourist arrivals as of August, a 2.7 percent year-on-year (yoy) increase from January-August last year. This year, the government aims to welcome 10 million tourists and 20 million by 2019.
Rizki said that several MICE businesspeople were in discussion to form an Indonesian conventions and exhibitions bureau to focus on developing the industry, citing the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) as an example.
The TCEB encourages business organizations and local associations to hold events while it draws international meetings and conferences to be held in Thailand’s five MICE cities, which are Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Khon Kaen.
TCEB strategic and business development vice president Supawan Teerarat said on Wednesday that MICE events contributed more compared to leisure travel.
“MICE participants spend two to four times more than leisure travelers,” she said during the business forum’s plenary discussion.
The panel urged ASEAN countries to collaborate on boosting the region’s MICE industry as the ASEAN Economic Community implementation would start by year-end.
Minor Hotel Group Limited chief commercial officer Michael Marshall said that the collaboration could be in the form of building the region’s reputation in the global market or joint promotion and marketing.
“One country can do a cross-sell in which it promotes its sister countries in the region,” he said.
Rizki admitted that currently collaborations were carried out according to bilateral relations.
“For example, we approach Thailand and Singapore to bring their MICE participants to Indonesia’s tourist attractions for rejuvenation or to assist us in bidding for associations to hold meetings in Indonesia,” she said, adding that collaboration was essential to develop Indonesia’s MICE industry.
“We want to actively participate in the industry regionally given our large and lucrative market,” she said.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below