Singapore Tourism Board expects to see more MICE events

 Friday, June 3, 2022 

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The Singapore Tourism Board is confident that the Singapore will host a growing number of international conventions, exhibitions and other events now that borders have reopened and people are travelling freely again. 

Yap Chin Siang, the board’s deputy chief executive said that Singapore is eager for opportunities to meet and network in person. This desire, as well as the recent easing of our border restrictions, puts the MICE industry in good stead to recover strongly.

The MICE refers to meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, a sector that accounted for about 1% of Singapore’s gross domestic product before the Covid-19 pandemic and 15% of international arrivals, according to the Tourism Board. In addition to industry conventions, MICE covers company gatherings such as off-site meetings, where staff from different locations join up for internal events.

In the first three months of 2022, Singapore hosted more than 150 local and international events attended by over 37,000 people, the Tourism Board said. They included the biennial Singapore Airshow in February, the largest of its kind in the region, and Asia Pacific Maritime in March. A full recovery for the MICE industry is expected in two to three years, according to the board.

Some of the major events planned for later this year include the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual meeting that draws top military officials and diplomats from around the world. The Global Health Security Conference is scheduled for the end of June and the Milken Institute Asia Summit will be held in September. Singapore will also host the AIJA Annual Congress in August and Gamescom Asia in October.

There is still a long way to go until Singapore gets back to bustling levels of business it was known for before the pandemic. While there’s been a strong uptick in passenger flow at Changi Airport since entry curbs were lifted for all vaccinated travellers in April, traffic is only about 50% of what it was in 2019. Terminal 2 was partially reopened earlier this week, but Terminal 4 remains closed after both were shuttered in 2020 as Covid-19 wiped out travel.

As Singapore rolls out the red carpet and canapes, regional rival Hong Kong is missing out for now as it sticks to some of its harsher Covid-19 restrictions, including mandatory seven-day hotel quarantines. Hong Kong has cancelled popular annual highlights such as Art Basel, the Clockenflap music festival and its rugby sevens tournament during the pandemic, while anti-government protests also scuppered several events the year before Covid-19 broke.

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