Overview of the ASEAN MICE industry: Part 1

Individual ASEAN countries are drawing upon the ASEAN image and ASEAN edge in boosting their own MICE industries. Keeping close tabs on regional MICE developments is key to success in any of the ASEAN countries.

To date, ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) have witnessed different degrees of development. But one thing is for sure. The MICE industry is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

Here are some snapshots of the current state and trajectory of the MICE industry in ASEAN:

1. Thailand


The TCEB (Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau) has recently moved to standardise its MICE venues with Thailand’s MICE Venue Standard or TMVS.

One of TCEB’s new policies announced by General Tanasak Patimapragorn, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister “will require the integration of collaboration between public and private sectors, particularly the coordination with ASEAN member countries”.

The government has stated its prioritisation of the MICE industry in moving the economy forward and has supported it through the enhancement of the transportation system and infrastructure.

Thailand’s MICE industry has an average growth rate of 5 to 10 per cent each year and saw an 18.8% increase in MICE visitors from 2014. It is closely tied to the tourism and leisure industry, which contributes to nearly 20.2% of Thailand’s GDP.


2. Singapore


The Singapore Tourism Board has recently developed the MICE 2020 roadmap and are striving to implement it. There is greater focus on developing Singapore’s technological software throughout the city-state to integrate communications and transport.

Read more about Singapore’s 2020 MICE vision here: https://blog.eventnook.com/post/key-highlights-of-singapore-mice-2020-in-next-5-years-for-event-planners/

Singapore was the only Asia-Pacific city to make the top 10 of the International Congress and Convention Association’s rankings.

However, being a small city-state prone to global macroeconomic fluctuations, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) recent visitor arrivals data shows declines in MICE travel arrivals, which dampened the country’s overall tourism performance for the first half of 2015. It saw a drop overall despite visitor arrivals and tourism receipts from the leisure segment growing by one per cent over the period.

3. Malaysia


The two airline disasters that have plagued Malaysia’s air travel industry have also had significant ramifications for its MICE and tourism industry. However, Malaysia’s minister of Tourism and Culture Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, in an interview with eturbonews reflects the role of ASEAN’s MICE and tourism integration for Malaysia’s own tourism and MICE industry.

The competition in tourism and MICE between ASEAN countries had been fierce in the past but right now, ASEAN is focused on promoting the region as a single tourism destination through GOASEAN (a ASEAN-focused travel initiative to promote ASEAN as a single tourism destination).

“All these countries are competing countries, and there is an old saying, ‘If you can’t beat them, join them,’ and I think it was a brilliant idea to create GOASEAN. We are saying, yes, go and visit Thailand, and also fly over to Kuala Lumpur,” says Aziz.

Malaysia is also the leading Islamic tourism destination for the last six years. While Malaysia lags behind countries like Singapore and Thailand in the volume of MICE events planned on its soil, it aims to ride on the momentum and appeal of its neighbours. With its world-class infrastructure and attractions, Malaysia is able to successfully attract MICE tourists after their meetings and who might want to explore the region away from leading MICE countries like China, Singapore and Thailand.


Keen to plan an event in one of the ASEAN countries? Check out Eventnook’s range of services capable of powering complex and large-scale events: 

Event Management Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

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