Land of fun opportunities

Asian CVBs have noticed the pick up in bleisure, and have jumped on the bandwagon to position themselves as hosts with the most.

The Indonesia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (INACEB) is taking steps to maximise the potential of business events destinations – namely Jakarta, Bali, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Medan and Lombok.

Locals making religious offerings in Ubud, Bali


In Bali, for example, event delegates can choose from activities such as watching cultural performances, cycling through villages, water sports or relaxing by the beach. Meanwhile, Bandung and its surrounds offer unique culinary experiences.

Local DMCs and event organisers can incorporate local attractions into business events programmes, such as having dinner in a palace, or providing a traditional massage service during coffee breaks. – Mimi Hudoyo


The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has banded together with the Japan Convention Bureau (JCB) to stimulate and promote attractive bleisure offerings to overseas travel planners and agencies.

Nara, Japan has a rich collection of traditional sites


For instance, JCB is working to encourage more unique and historical venues to open their doors to meetings and event functions. These can range from traditional Japanese gardens to supermarkets, which corporate groups can use exclusively.

JNTO promotes local gems in outlying regions, and is working with local prefectural governments and suppliers to launch a 100 Experiences in Japan book.

Local CVBs and DMOs are also rolling out their own promotions. In August 2019, Kobe City launched its After MICE programme to business travellers to experience the city through 20 shortlisted activities, while DMO Kansai Nara Treasure Travel is promoting its night tours and private access tours to restricted temples and shrines in Nara. – Pamela Chow


The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has been encouraging bleisure travel through its Travel Stimulation Program, which enriches incentive travel through support schemes such as complimentary tourist information kits, souvenirs, cultural performances and half-day historical tours.

MGTO recently launched a promotional campaign under a social and digital media partnership with Bloomberg to highlight the city’s bleisure offerings through a stylish video mini-series. The campaign targets high net-worth and well-travelled millennials with increasing purchasing power and openness to explore authentic destinations. – Pamela Chow

The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau has positioned the country by showcasing its endless list of activities and places to explore for pre- and post tours, or for after work-trip extensions.

Desaru Coast Adventure waterpark


These include ecotourism and soft adventure activities such as whitewater rafting, snorkelling and diving, hiking, mountain climbing, glamping and bird-watching. The country is also a destination for more relaxed activities such as retail therapy, theme parks, golfing or visiting museums.

Such options are plentiful and diverse, and is never far from the main cities where business meetings and conferences are held. – S Puvaneswary


The country’s destination branding is More Fun in the Philippines, which is also reflected in the CVBs MICE marketing materials, promotes both meeting facilities and activities in locations namely Manila, Cebu, Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, Davao, Clark-Subic, Bacolod-Iloilo, Vigan-Laoag and Baguio-Banaue.

Crystal-clear waters in Busuanga Island, Philippines


While there are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines, the country offers more than sun, sand and sea. Individuals can indulge in soft adventure such as jungle and volcano trekking, cycling, ziplining, or attend one of the country’s vibrant festivals.

The Philippine Convention Bureau assists event planners by coordinating onsite inspections and planning tour itinerary, as well as offering support in-kind. – S Puvaneswary

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched the In Singapore Incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE) aimed at small- to mid-sized MICE groups. The incentive programme offers 63 complimentary group experiences designed to complement MICE group itineraries and provide exclusive experiences. These fall under four categories: dining, entertainment and nightlife; thematic tours and learning experiences; tailored attraction-based experiences; and distinctive teambuilding activities.

Garden Rhapsody show at Gardens by the Bay


Experiences include creating bespoke cocktails using herbs and spices found in UNESCO World Heritage site, the Botanic Gardens; an insider’s tour of Singapore’s Silicon Valley, the One North vicinity, with exclusive fireside sharing sessions by founders of successful businesses; as well as a private after-hours Garden Rhapsody show at Gardens by the Bay.

To qualify for INSPIRE, groups must travel to Singapore between now and December 31, 2021, with a minimum of 20 foreign attendees and stay for at least three days in the Lion City. – Pamela Chow

South Korea
Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has created pre-and post tour programmes for bleisure travellers, and is ready to provide support in the form of arranged transportation.

Korean kimchi


The country has myriad attractions both in the day and night, though the nights tend to be more lively. Bleisure travellers can visit night markets, or enjoy shimmering views from a vantage point in Seoul or Busan. For a more traditional experience, the palace is an interesting place to visit, as travellers can wear the hanbok and tour its expansive grounds.

KTO also has a list of experience programmes for travellers such as learning how to play a traditional instrument, or learning to make kimchi. – Mimi Hudoyo

Meet Taiwan welcomes bleisure tourists, and has a strategy in place that entices business travellers to stay longer after their trip by encouraging them to bring their spouses, families and friends and stay on after their work is complete to explore the destination.

Bleisure options in Taiwan range from hiking in Taroko National Park and soaking in hotsprings in Taichung, to paragliding in Puli and exploring the various night markets in Taipei.

Waterfall within the Taroko National Park in Hualien, Taiwan


Aside from its attractions, Taiwan also positions itself as a friendly and welcoming nation, is a safe place to travel in, and convenient to get around by public transport. All these and more are heavily promoted by the CVB, which will also support planners by providing information on all things from sightseeing to venue arrangements, to fit a whole range of budgets. – Rachel AJ Lee


To entice business travellers to extend their stay, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) created Thailand 7 MICE Magnificent Themes – such as Fascinating History and Culture and Exhilarating Adventures – in its five MICE cities (Bangkok, Phuket, Khon Kaen, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai).

TCEB has also launched a MICE Thailand Signature campaign, where it works with over 300 establishments to offer business travellers attending TCEB-supported events, special discounts and privileges across six categories such as health & wellness, and gourmet & cuisine.

Heavy promotion of Khon Kaen is now underway, with efforts to play up the destination’s fun activities such as bicycle rides in Nam Phong National Park and Isaan silk weaving at Ban Hua Fai.

The bureau works very closely with the local private sector as well as trade associations like Thailand Incentive and Convention Association, to ensure that event planners have access to a diverse range of bleisure products and services. – Rachel AJ Lee

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