November 2, 2007
Brunei Has Potential To Be MICE Destination
Brunei Darussalam can market itself as a MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) destination, but it needs to develop its tourism infrastructure before it can do so.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Brunei Tourism Board, Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, in an interview with The Brunei Times at the 4th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, China, said that Brunei needs more infrastructure if it is to establish a MICE industry.
This industry, he said, will benefit the economy as the host country receives mass volumes of people coming in to attend large-scale MICE events, and this translates to more revenue through hotel occupancy, public transport and restaurants.
The CEO also said that the private sector needs to take a more active role in providing the facilities required.
In Singapore and Malaysia, for instance, the private sector played a big role in developing the infrastructure, instead of the government.
The investment has paid off handsomely. In 2006, Singapore's MICE industry raked in a record US$4 billion in tourism receipts.
"This is a private sector initiative. Our private sectors need to team up with foreign partners to develop mass convention infrastructure," said Sheikh Jamaluddin.
With such facilities, Brunei will also be able to accommodate exhibitions and expos not only on tourism but also education, transportation and defence.
"Who says we can’t have our own air show one day?" said the CEO, adding to attract investments; the tourism infrastructure must be in place.
Sheikh Jamaluddin also related that in 2010, Brunei will be hosting the Asean Tourism Forum, which will attract tourism industry players from all over the world.
Many more exhibitions are in the pipeline, said the CEO.
Chinese liaison personnel for participants of this year's Caexpo, Wong, said that such events contribute to the local tourism industry, and generate brisk business for hotels and taxis. He added that the annual expo attracts investment and boosts the local economy, and has given Nanning exposure and recognition worldwide.