From October 1, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will start accepting applications from organisers to pilot meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) events of up to 250 attendees. Only events approved by STB and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) will materialise, in an attempt to ensure a safe and gradual return to MICE events in the country. Pilot events, such as the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) Conference this month, will be taking place under this arrangement.
Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “The MICE sector is a strategic one for the Singapore economy, and its safe and gradual resumption will safeguard jobs and core capabilities. It will also help those in related sectors such as hospitality and aviation. Public health and safety remain our utmost priority, and we have worked closely with the industry to create strict protocols and develop new ways of organising events. These pilot events and solutions will help Singapore lead the way as a safe, trusted and innovative destination for MICE events.”
Organisers who apply to pilot events must demonstrate their ability to implement safe management measures to meet a set of health and safety outcomes. As more insights and data are obtained through these pilot events, STB will work with the MICE industry to adapt and adjust protocols for safe business events.
This move to start accepting applications to pilot events of up to 250 attendees exemplifies the importance of the MICE industry as well as the strong industry interest in and demand for business events.
According to a MICE Economic Impact Assessment commissioned by STB in 2019, the industry supported more than 34,000 jobs with an economic value-add of $3.8 billion, or nearly one per cent of Singapore’s GDP. Business travellers also spend almost double that of leisure travellers, making them high-yield visitors.
The Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) is collaborating with STB and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) to formulate an Event Industry Resilience Roadmap (IRR), which will be made available soon.
PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERS
The safe resumption of MICE events requires close partnership and coordination between public and private sector stakeholders. Given the need to act quickly and decisively in order for the economy to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis, the Emerging Stronger Taskforce (EST) under the Future Economy Council (FEC) has convened the Singapore Together Alliances for Action (“Alliances”), which are industry-led, government-supported coalitions that will act quickly by prototyping ideas on key strategic areas for Singapore.
The Alliance for Action on Enabling Safe and Innovative Visitor Experiences is one of them. Co-led by Lee Seow Hiang of Changi Airport Group and Kwee Wei-Lin of Singapore Hotel Association, the Alliance has worked closely with a diverse range of industry stakeholders such as SACEOS and National Association of Travel Agents (NATAS), and government agencies such as STB and the Ministry of Health (MOH) to explore and pioneer new ways to facilitate safe and innovative visitor experiences in a Covid-19 environment.
Recognising health and safety as key imperatives, the Alliance for Action on Enabling Safe and Innovative Visitor Experiences has developed a prototype for safe tradeshows and exhibitions – these are larger events which would not have been permitted to resume in their pre-Covid-19 format. The prototype has been developed in partnership with the private sector, and will provide delegates with the degree of interaction they would be accustomed to in a regular tradeshow setting – but in a far safer way which minimises infection risks.
This will be tested at a few tradeshows, starting with a new event in November called TravelRevive – powered by ITB Asia & STB. Messe Berlin (Singapore), which also organises the annual ITB Asia travel tradeshow, will bring international delegates and businesses together to exchange ideas, bridge knowledge gaps, and reimagine the future of travel.
To prepare Singapore for the eventual resumption of leisure travel, the Alliance has also designed safe itineraries, which will be trialled with the MICE delegates of TravelRevive. These itineraries comprise a selection of leisure activities that not only comply with prevailing safe management guidelines, but also provide high quality bespoke experiences supported by ground handlers and tourist guides, who will assist with visitor movement management.
Foreign delegates of the pilot events will also be required to use TraceTogether to facilitate contact tracing. To give inbound travellers further peace of mind, the industry is working with government agencies to develop a travel insurance product for inbound travellers by Q4 2020, to cover critical Covid-19-related expenses.
Plan your next business event VisitSingapore.com/MICE
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.