Resilience and recovery are the key attributes that drive the tourism industry. Proving it all over again is the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). In line with the safe and gradual resumption of economic activities in Singapore, the STB will start accepting applications for organisers to pilot Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) events of up to 250 attendees from 1 October 2020.
STB and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) will review all MICE event proposals, and event organisers may proceed only upon obtaining MTI’s approval. There will be pilot events taking place under this arrangement, such as the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) Conference, in October 2020.
Organisers who apply to pilot events with up to 250 attendees must demonstrate their ability to implement Safe Management Measures to meet a set of health and safety outcomes. More details will be released at a later stage. The decision to accept applications to pilot MICE events of up to 250 attendees comes on the back of STB’s Safe Business Events Framework for business events of up to 50 attendees, which was first announced in July 2020. It operationalised the framework with two pilots – the first concluded successfully in August 2020, while plans for the second pilot, which will take place in late September 2020, are underway.
As more insights and data are obtained through these pilot events, the tourism board will work with the MICE industry to adapt and adjust our protocols for safe business events. This move to start accepting applications to pilot events of up to 250 attendees also takes into account 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 percent of Singapore’s GDP. Business travellers also spend almost double that of leisure travellers, making them high-yield visitors.
To guide the MICE industry in developing its agility and building resilience post-COVID-19, 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). The roadmap will be launched later this month and provides timely guidance on safety measures and best practices in line with the gradual resumption of business events.
Given the need to act quickly and decisively in order for our 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.
Keith Tan, chief executive of STB, 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.”