ICCA, UNWTO beef up emerging destinations’ MICE know-how

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have collaborated on a series of education and knowledge economy development initiatives, focused on helping to build emerging destinations’ capacity as new meetings destinations.

The masterclasses serve as a platform to explore the potential of the meetings industry and equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to drive its further development in their destinations, while harnessing the meetings industry’s extensive potential as a source of sustainable development, knowledge exchange and economic growth.

These masterclasses are aimed at developing meetings industry expertise and enhancing the knowledge economy of emerging destinations

Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA, said: “Through these Masterclasses, not only will new destinations be able to carve a foothold for themselves in the rapidly-evolving and lucrative meetings market, they will be able to access the resources needed to empower them to drive their development through the knowledge and economic power of business events.”

The first UNWTO-ICCA Masterclass on the Meetings Industry took place in Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan on August 10, 2019, while the second took place on October 9 in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan, as part of the 8th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism.

The inaugural Masterclass on August 10 saw over 100 governments officials from the Uzbekistan Tourism Administration, representatives of private companies, associations and academia take part in sessions showcasing global meetings industry trends and introducing a practical developmental methodology. Delivered by ICCA’s regional director Europe Elif Balci Fisunoglu and UNWTO’s Dmitry Ilin, the interactive seminar facilitated the creation of an important network among the private and public sector in Uzbekistan and sought to enhance the destination’s competitiveness.

October 9 marked the second UNWTO Masterclass in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan, with around 100 participants – such as private stakeholders in the country, international tourism board executives and meetings industry representatives from countries such as Austria, Spain, Italy, Korea and Thailand – in attendance.

During the welcome reception, Helena Mahuas, deputy director of Nur Sultan Convention Bureau, presented the country’s MICE tourism potential and the latest reforms in the field of developing business tourism in Kazakhstan.

Then, ICCA’s Fisunoglu shared meetings industry insights on why destinations are focusing on this sector and how to research and bid to win future meetings. She also gave an outline of the current industry trends explaining how destinations are linking their economic and knowledge clusters to meetings when bidding.

A third Masterclass will take place in Batumi, Georgia, on December 5, 2019.

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