The MICE industry is finally getting attention at the regional level, with ASEAN member states rolling out concerted efforts to develop the sector, reports TTG Asia.
“In the past, ASEAN governments are more focused on leisure tourism (but) there are many hotels and venues with events facilities, and many players in the MICE value chain,” Wiparat Tharateerapab, director, government and corporate affairs department, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), said.
Thailand, as the ASEAN lead coordinator for MICE venues, will remodel the Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) for use at the regional level as the new ASEAN MICE Venue Standard (AVMS).
Adapted from ISO standards, TMVS covers three categories (meeting rooms, exhibition venues and event events) with the meeting rooms standard being further divided into three groups (hotels and resorts, convention centres and public facilities).
Manivong Sounh, director general of Laos’ Tourism Marketing Department, says going niche is the way forward for Laos’ MICE. “We do not have the capacity or resources to cater to big events (so) we will focus on small-scale events and develop the relevant skills and knowledge,” he said.
Lending a hand to Laos’ MICE plans is the Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF) 2017, which will take place in Luang Prabang this June.
“We wanted to look at how smaller destinations can compete with cities for big events, so we came up with an experiential concept for MTF 2017,” Mekong Tourism Executive Director Jens Thraenhart said.
“MTF 2017 will take delegates out of meeting rooms and into the real Luang Prabang and some of its attractions,” he added.