Indonesia steps up efforts to court international MICE events

Indonesia appoints deputy of tourism products and events to help bring bid and win more international events for Indonesia; Jakarta city pictured

With the new organisational structure of Indonesia’s ministry of tourism and creative economy in place, the country has turned its focus towards attracting business events to bolster its tourism performance this year.

Rizki Handayani, who now helms the Tourism and Creative Economy (TCE) Board as deputy of tourism products and events, shared with TTGmice that the ministry is “expected to improve foreign earnings by increasing the number of business events in Indonesia”.

Indonesia appoints deputy of tourism products and events to help bring bid and win more international events for Indonesia; Jakarta city pictured

As a start, the ministry will compile a database of events and associations, and they will collaborate with trade associations such as the Indonesia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (INACEB) to create a “bidding factory”.

The “bidding factory” will be a team, whose job is to curate potential events, as well as elevate the sector by educating Indonesian stakeholders through short courses on how to bid for events, explained Rizki. The “bidding factory” will also oversee the bidding process, starting from the preparation of documents to assistance during the presentation.

“We want to send a clear message that the government fully supports the bidding and the destination is serious in its intention to host the event,” she stressed.

The ministry will also intensify its networking with both local and international associations, as part of efforts to find out what potential events can be brought to Indonesia, as well as understand bidding patterns so that Indonesia has a higher chance of being chosen as a host.

Furthermore, Ritzky added that the ministry aims to help value add to the bids and support them by sponsoring an event reception, or providing tour packages for delegates. This is as government regulation does not allow the ministry to give organisers or associations cash.

“One of the reasons why the number of events in Indonesia is still small is the (lack of) desire or willingness of our associations to attract international events to Indonesia (as doing so can be expensive). The government will increase their support (in kind),” Rizki explained.

Rizki: Government in full support of attracting international events to the country

In the meantime, to extend their outreach, the tourism authority will embark on a roadshow to reach out to ministries and associations to list any potential international events.

Panca Sarungu, chairman of Prista Indonesia, is hopeful that the appointment of a dedicated deputy for events at the TCE Board will bode well for the sector.

He added that among a variety of business events that Indonesia can attract are incentives, as the country is not seen as such. Panca also hopes that the TCE Board will revive Indonesia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (INACEB) – as it was unable “to run effectively due to funding” – which will, in turn, promote Indonesian cities as business events destinations to the overseas market.

Jim Tehusirajana, chief of mission of Alcor MICE, expressed hopes that the business events industry will be better coordinated under the TCE Board, and that both can work together when it comes to marketing, media promotion, and facility development.

“(The dissemination of) information about bidding, for example, is still carried out by an association,” he said. The lack of promotion and information about facilities that Jakarta offers is also a problem that Jim wants to solve.

“When I met with officials from the Indonesian NTO in Singapore last year, they asked me for information about venues. They told me that there were (companies) that approached them to ask where to hold corporate events in Jakarta, but they (NTO officials) were unable to give them information about buildings or facilities like what we (Alcor MICE) have right now,” Jim recalled.

And while government conferences are still a key target of the ministry, Jim hopes that more attention will be given to B2B corporate events.

“The IMF annual meeting, for example, drew over 10,000 people to Indonesia, but it is not held in Indonesia every year. However, corporate events can be held regularly or routinely as long as the city is interesting for (international companies). And while corporate events draw around 3,000 people to Indonesia, if there are at least 10 corporate events held in Indonesia in a year, that will make it 30,000 people,” he elaborated. – Additional reporting by Kurniawan Ulung

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