Could ASEAN be marketed as a single MICE destination?

ASEAN as a single MICE destination could attract more delegates. Pic: kychan/Unsplash

IN tune with the promotion of leisure tourism in the ASEAN region, could the cluster of ten nations be promoted as a single MICE destination?

TTG Asia reported from the IT&CMA and CTW Asia Pacific 2016 in Bangkok, “Buyers call for more visible efforts from governments and stronger public-private partnerships to make [a single MICE destination] a reality.”

Buyers added that the region already has good air connectivity and exciting new destinations, both of which will add to the prospect of a single MICE destination.

Susan Soong, assistant general manager of Borneo Destination Management, told TTG Asia that twin-country itineraries are especially relevant to the long-haul MICE market as travelers want to maximize their time in southeast Asia.

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“Combined destinations can be arranged for meetings and incentives of between 50 and 100 people. (We can) organise the meeting in one destination and a post-tour in another,” she added.

Taufiq Rahman, chief executive of Journey Plus in Bangladesh, was quoted, “Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia have been (top destinations) for us, but Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are new windows (of opportunities).”

However, buyers urged for governments to lend more support to destination management companies (DMCs) for multi-nation itineraries to run more smoothly.

At the Thailand Travel Mart in June, Thai politician Surin Pitsuwan proposed the idea of multi-country tourist visas in order for ASEAN nations to foster a stronger bond through shared tourism promotions and revenues.

SEE ALSO: Would you support the idea of a multi-country tourist visa for southeast Asia?

Thai politician Surin Pitsuwan proposed the idea of multi-country tourist visas in order for ASEAN nations to foster a stronger bond through shared tourism promotions and revenues.

Consequently, multi-country tourist visas could also boost MICE tourism among delegates who are interested to venture into the various regions of Asia.

However, Travel Pulse argued that even if the idea sounds practical on the surface, it’s more difficult to execute in theory.

This is because ASEAN nations are subjected to their own immigration and visa policies as well as different approaches to security and screenings for inbound travelers.