The ASEAN National Tourism Organizations (ASEAN NTOs) joined forces with TTG Media in organizing the very first ASEAN MICE forum at the IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2015, that opened on the 29th September at Bangkok Convention Center at CentralWorld. Representatives from the ASEAN NTO’s networked with industry professionals from almost 50-countries.
The forum ran to a full house and offered a knowledge centric programme that shared the regions’ latest MICE developments and insights on an international scale, through conversations between the region’s key players and the global community. Across three sessions held throughout the morning, the new forum brought together destination management companies, national tourism organizations, convention and visitor bureaus, as well as hoteliers, to raise awareness of MICE related issues and discuss strategies to promote the sector, especially as the ASEAN Economic Community becomes a reality.
With the AEC in mind, the opening session explored the potential for creating multi-destination packages for both incentive travel and meetings in the region, taking advantage of the varied attractions that Southeast Asia offers. This was followed by a presentation of case studies underscoring exactly how ‘secondary’ destinations within ASEAN have been able to create a niche for themselves, while benefitting from greater accessibility and the growing demand for authentic experiences in incentive travel.
The final session saw Gary Grimmer, the CEO of GainingEdge, explain the critical role of the MICE industry in transforming national economies through providing a conduit for collaboration and creativity; a role which convention bureaus themselves must work to impress upon national governments, if all ASEAN members states are to reap the rewards on offer.
Speaking after the event, Managing Director of TTG Asia and IT&CMA Organizer, Darren Ng, said that he was: “particularly pleased with the attendance at the event” and was “confident that the ASEAN MICE Forum would go from strength to strength in the coming years, following its strong start.”
Ng stressed the importance of the ASEAN members states working together to promote MICE events both within and beyond the region. He further felt that the inception of this particular forum would build upon the progress made within the industry in Southeast Asia over the past ten years.