RI promotes “incentive travel”

The Indonesian government is now actively promoting MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) in its newest tourism packages, placing Bali and Jakarta as the major venues. Firmansyah Rahim, director general for destination development at the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, said Indonesia had realized the huge potential of MICE to increase the number of visitors to the country. “Indonesia, through the ministry, established a directorate dealing with MICE activities in 2007,” Rahim said. MICE, he said, was a lucrative business, sustained through the global economic downturn, political upheavals and global, regional and national conflicts.

“Indonesia has been too slow to respond to the current demands of the global MICE industry. We have to be more focused on developing, improving and promoting MICE,” said Rahim during the MICE workshop in Sanur on Monday. The ministry’s data revealed 16 potential cities for MICE, but Bali and Jakarta remained the mostwell-equipped venues for such activities. Rahim identified several factors that had hampered development of the MICE industry in the country, including limited numbers of companies dealing with MICE. “What’s more, these companies usually think that MICE is only about meetings and conventions.

MICE is more than that,” he said. MICE also deals with incentive travel. The workshop on MICE was intended to provide people in tourism, government officials and other relevant parties with comprehensive knowledge on the industry, its prospects and challenges. Ida Bagus “Lolec” Surakusuma, one of the MICE players in Bali, said it was high time for Indonesia, Bali in particular, to apply incentive travel to appreciate tourists who stayed longer than three days. “Incentives are given to both tourism workers and tourists when they perform well. Tourism workers are given incentives to motivate them to work better and harder.

Tourists get incentives when they stay longer,” he said. Incentive travel will also attract more investment in tourism. To manage incentive travel effectively, it must be closely related to a destination management company (DMC). “There are hundreds of DMC in the Asia Pacific region that may be interested in doing business in Indonesia,” he said. The Amsterdam-based International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) only includes Jakarta and Bali as suitable MICE venues in Indonesia. According to the International Association Meetings Market, Indonesia ranked 41 out of 109 ICCA member countries.

Meanwhile, Bali and Jakarta ranked 48 and 182 out of 390 MICE cities in the world. Jane Schuldt, MICE specialist from the US, said at the workshop that Indonesia had great MICE potential. “Indonesia has abundant cultural and natural resources that support its MICE,” she said. “Indonesia, with its Bali and Beyond tourism package, can attract visitors from the US and Europe. But lack of accessibility — such as direct flights, have eclipsed this huge potential from the MICE world map,” said Schuldt, president/founder of World Marketing Group and president of North American Pacific World Inc. at Pacific World Inc.

Meanwhile, Leila Bishara, a strategic consultant in the business events industry from Australia, said that Bali attracted many Australians. She was positive that the current political tension between Indonesia and Australia would not have any significant impact on tourism.

source : bali daily

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