Indonesia wants stronger promotion of country’s MICE prowess

Indonesia’s business events industry is calling for overseas government-led sales missions to focus on winning more event and incentive bids, as well as the formation of a dedicated ministry department to bring in more large-scale B2B events to realise the country’s under-tapped MICE potential.

Chinese corporate incentives have been growing in recent years, but the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism’s overseas MICE sales missions had more leisure than events industry participants, observed Bambang Sugiono, director of marketing and overseas promotions of RD Tours.

Indonesia seeks more large-scale business events

“It is about time that the government dedicate sales missions with tabletop sessions for conference and incentive planners, and business forums with corporates. This will work particularly with the China and Indian markets,” he noted.

Andreas Rungkat, director of convention services, Jakarta Convention Center, and chairman of the MICE Acceleration Team – comprised of industry members and formed by the Ministry of Tourism – agreed, adding it was precisely what the team has recommended.

“We have been handling a couple of B2B exhibitions from China at JCC and we believe this is a huge market that we need to tap,” he added in response to TTGmice’s question on the role of business events in Indonesia’s tourism development strategy in the next five years.

In addition, with the government placing a stronger emphasis on growing tourism revenue over arrival volumes, growing the business events sector would be the most realistic way to achieve this target, said minister of national development planning Bambang Brodjonegoro.

Bambang added the Ministry of Tourism will be the coordinating agency in developing “a better strategy to bring more events to the country”.

“What is happening now is that business events are organised sporadically among the ministries, government agencies and private sector. The IMF-World Bank event, for example, began with an initiative from the Ministry of Finance,” he revealed.

In addition, Budi Tirtawisata, chairman of the Indonesia Convention and Exhibition Bureau – a private sector organisation – called for “a dedicated deputy minister at the Ministry of Tourism to take care of the business events sector”.

However, Andreas opined that there should be a dedicated agency for business events that was not part of a ministry, and instead be directly under the office of the president.

Going forward, Arief Yahya, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism, said the ministry will be setting aside a budget to bid for events. This comes as business events stakeholders have also requested the government to develop a scheme to fund bids and subvention programmes to attract events.

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